The US is eyeing action against Russia’s gas giant Gazprom in case it falls through with the plans to buy Crimea’s natural gas company.
To thwart the potential deal, the US has imposed sanctions against the Crimea-based Chernomorneftegaz.
The US Department of Treasury said Chernomorneftegaz “is complicit in the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine.”
If Gazprom goes ahead to take part in the privatization of the company, it may face difficulties in transactions with foreign partners since many of the payments go via US-based institutions.
Earlier, Gennady Timchenkov confessed he had moved his funds back into Russia ahead of the sanctions.
Timchenko, one of the people targeted by US sanctions, sold off his stake in Gunvor just a day or two before his name was placed on the black list by the US Treasury.
According to the US Treasury, “Timchenko’s activities in the energy sector have been directly linked to Putin. Putin has investments in Gunvor and may have access to Gunvor funds.”
Gunvor came out to announce that Timchenko, worth $8.4 billion on Bloomberg’s Billionaire Index, sold his 44 percent stake to his partner, Torbjorn Tornqvist.
The Geneva-based company employs a staff of 1,600 in more than 20 locations worldwide, sourcing from more than 35 countries. In 2012, it earned $93 billion.
According to @Gunvor, the firm’s official Twitter account, “Pres. Putin has not and never has had any ownership, beneficial or otherwise in Gunvor. He is not a beneficiary of Gunvor or its activities.”
Pursuant to Executive Order 13661 signed by President Obama on March 16, 2014, the US Treasury will freeze any of assets belonging to 20 Russian individuals and one bank within U.S. jurisdiction and prohibit any transactions with them.
Among them are 16 officials, including Viktor Ozerov, Vladimir Dzhabarov, Evgeny Bushmin, Nikolai Ryzhkov, Sergey Zheleznyak, Sergey Mironov, Aleksandr Totoonov, Oleg Panteleev, Sergey Naryshkin, Viktor Ivanov, Igor Sergun, Sergei Ivanov, AlexeyGromov, Andrey Fursenko, Vladimir Yakunin, and Vladimir Kozhin. Also on the list are four “members of the inner circle”, including Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg, Boris Rotenberg, and Yury Kovalchuk.
These individuals being designated because each is controlled by, has acted for or on behalf of, or has provided material or other support to, a senior Russian government official.
Author: Mikhail Vesely