UK cracks down on gold and oil networks propping up Russia’s war economy

Foreign Secretary, James Cleverly and Defence Secretary, Grant Shapps this week at the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs whilst in Tokyo, Japan for the G7 Summit for Foreign Ministers. Picture by Rory Arnold / No 10 Downing Street. CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED

Foreign Secretary announces 29 new sanctions UK sanctions targeting individuals and entities operating in and supporting Russia’s gold, oil and strategic sectors.

  • New UK sanctions target 29 individuals and entities operating in and supporting Russia’s gold, oil and strategic sectors.
  • Those sanctioned include Russia’s largest gold refiner and international networks propping up Russia’s gold, oil and finance industries.
  • To date the UK has sanctioned over 1,800 individuals, companies, and groups under our Russia sanctions regime.

29 individuals and entities operating in and supporting Russia’s gold and oil sectors have been sanctioned by the UK today [8th November]. New listings include both Russian oligarchs and businesses, and third country enablers fuelling Russia’s war revenues.   

Russia’s gold and oil markets have close ties to the Kremlin and serve as critical revenue streams for its illegal invasion of Ukraine. Gold is a significant income stream for Russia’s war effort – one of the highest by value after oil and gas, worth £12.6 billion to the Russian economy in 2021. 

Following the illegal full-scale invasion of Ukraine the UK, alongside international partners, has introduced a wide set of measures intended to bear down on those revenues. This includes our Oil Price Cap, which has contributed to a 25% reduction in Russian oil revenues between January and September 2023 versus the same period in 2022. Russia has repeatedly attempted to circumvent these measures by enlisting the support of actors in other jurisdictions.   

Today’s listings are intended to block individuals and entities from helping Russia to dodge the impact of international sanctions. Those newly sanctioned include a United Arab Emirates-based network responsible for channelling more than $300m in gold revenues to Russia. As part of this, gold trader Paloma Precious DMCC and the key individual behind the outfit, Howard Jon Baker have been targeted.  

The UK has also sanctioned two of Russia’s largest gold producers, Nord Gold PLC and Highland Gold Mining Limited, alongside Russian oligarchs Vladislav Sviblov and Konstantin Strukov.  

In tandem with today’s sanctions, the National Crime Agency has issued a Red Alert to raise awareness of common evasion techniques used by enablers in the gold industry. The Red Alert also tackles sanctions circumvention by calling on businesses to report suspicious activity, including any attempts to breach sanctions and providing guidance on how to do so.  

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said:  

Sanctions continue to deal a heavy blow to the Kremlin’s war economy, to date depriving Putin of over $400bn to fund his illegal invasion of Ukraine. But we must keep tightening the screws on Moscow.  

Today’s sanctions will hit those who have provided succour to Putin by helping him to lessen the impact of our sanctions on Russian gold and oil – two critical sources of revenue for the Russian war machine.   

As we root out and close down these circumvention avenues, we’ll continue to box Putin in and make sure his faltering war effort in Ukraine ends in failure.

Today the UK has also sanctioned Paramount Energy & Commodities DMCC. This outfit is known to employ deceptive shipping practices as well as opaque ownership structures and has been used by Russia to soften the blow of oil-related sanctions imposed by the UK in coordination with G7 partners.

The UK has also acted today to disrupt a covert procurement network used by Russia to acquire critical western technology, sanctioning OOO TK Fly Bridge, a company procuring dual-use goods for Russian electronics producers NPP Istok and Ecitech. Also sanctioned from this covert network are Maksim Ermakov, founder of OOO TK Fly Bridge, alongside eight of NPP Istok’s board members.  

To date the UK has sanctioned over 1,800 individuals, companies, and groups under our Russia sanctions regime, including 129 oligarchs with a combined net worth of £145bn at the time of the invasion.   

See below the full list of individuals and organisations sanctioned by the UK today:  

  • JSC Krastsvetmet
  • Paloma Precious DMCC
  • Howard Jon BAKER
  • Marina Aleksandrovna MORDASHOVA
  • Nord Gold PLC
  • Georgy Valeryevich  SMIRNOV
  • Konstantin Ivanovich STRUKOV
  • Vladislav Vladimirovich SVIBLOV
  • Highland Gold Mining Limited
  • Ural Mining and Metallurgical Company
  • Francois Edouard MAURON
  • Russian National Reinsurance Company
  • Sergei Vadimovich TREGUB
  • Vadym Oleksandrovich TREGUB
  • Krešimir FILIPOVIĆ
  • Walter MORETTI
  • Limited Liability Company Technological Company Fly Bridge
  • Maksim Yuryevich ERMAKOV
  • Evgenii Vasilyevich ISTOMIN
  • Mariya Vladimirovna CHEKADANOVA
  • Vadim Sergeevich DOBROV
  • Aleksandr Sergeevich KOTOV
  • Leonid Viktorovich LAVRENTYEV
  • Natalya Aleksandovna RUBTSOVA
  • Sergei Vladilenovich SHCHERBAKOV
  • Aleksandr Aleksandrovich VYALOV
  • Yury Anatolyevich CHIKHANCHIN
  • The Russian Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP)

Source: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and The Rt Hon James Cleverly MP


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