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Reuters: EU to cease sanctions against 3 Russian businessmen

by Dinara Khalilova and The Kyiv Independent news desk September 12, 2023 6:44 PM 2 min read
European Union flags decorates the façade of the iconic Berlaymont building, the seat of the European Commission in Brussels, Belgium, on May 31, 2023. (Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
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The European Union will not prolong sanctions against three Russian businessmen targeted over Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Reuters reported on Sept. 12, citing diplomatic sources.

Those are Grigory Berezkin, the chairman of one of Russia's largest holding companies, ESN Group, billionaire Farkhad Akhmedov, and the former head of the Russian e-commerce firm Ozon, Alexander Shulgin.

Azerbaijan-born Akhmedov is a former senator involved in Russia's oil and gas sector. Berezkin, whom Reuters called close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has investments in various sectors, including media, infrastructure, and energy.

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The EU needs the consensus of all 27 member states to impose sanctions, which are renewed every six months. The current set of restrictions expires on Sept. 15.

Western countries have imposed sanctions against multiple Russian oligarchs involved in Moscow's military aggression against Ukraine. According to Reuters, the EU has so far sanctioned around 1,600 individuals and more than 200 entities since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

On Aug. 26, the Financial Times reported that Arkady Volozh, tech billionaire and co-founder of Russia's popular search engine Yandex, had made a formal request for the EU to lift its sanctions against him.

Earlier, Volozh publicly spoke out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, calling it "barbaric." His petition would test how the EU plans to deal with sanctioned individuals who denounce the Kremlin.

Ukraine imposes sanctions on petty pro-Russian politicians, yet ignores most high-profile ones
Editor’s Note: This story is the result of an investigation by StateWatch, a Ukrainian expert organization advocating for the principles of good governance, into how Ukraine imposes sanctions against high-profile pro-Russian individuals, many of whom are under sanctions in the U.S., UK or EU. The au…
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