UK imposes asset freezes on Abramovich, Rosneft boss Sechin

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich at Stamford Bridge, 2015. [Reuters]

Britain said on Thursday it had imposed asset freezes on Chelsea soccer club owner Roman Abramovich and Igor Sechin, the chief executive of Russian oil group Rosneft, plus five other Russian oligarchs.

In total Britain said the seven figures added to the sanctions list because of their connections to Russian President Vladimir Putin had a collective net worth of 15 billion pounds ($19.74 billion).

"There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine," British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said.

A security officer patrols at Stamford Bridge, the stadium for Chelsea Football Club, in London, Britain. March 3, 2022. [Reuters]

"Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people. We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies."

There have been growing calls from British lawmakers for action to be taken against Abramovich and other Russian oligarchs, with criticism that Johnson's government was not moving fast enough compared to the European Union and the United States.

The others added to the list were Oleg Deripaska, who has stakes in En+ Group, Dmitri Lebedev, chairman of Bank Rossiya, Alexei Miller, the chief executive of energy company Gazprom, and Nikolai Tokarev, the president of the Russia state-owned pipeline company Transneft.