London’s Russian billionaires are “at risk” of sanctions, David Cameron warns

Brunt of new “restrictive measures” aimed at cutting off Russia’s banking economy

David Cameron has warned Russian billionaires who live or own assets in London that they could be “at risk” of sanctions if they have close links to Vladmir Putin.

The Prime Minister said he was “very clear” that if rich Russians living in Britain were shown to be “Putin cronies” they would be in danger of sanctions.

Mr Cameron did not mention anyone living in the capital by name, but Russian billionaires who have chosen London as their home include Roman Abramovich, the owner of Chelsea FC. Alisher Usmanov, a major shareholder in Arsenal FC also owns property in the capital.

His comments came as ambassadors in Brussels discussed proposals to make the City of London bear the brunt of new “restrictive measures” aimed at cutting off Russia’s banking economy from financing and key technologies.

Meeting in intense secrecy, the EU delegates agreed a new “crony criteria” to target Russian oligarchs close to Vladimir Putin’s inner circle who are seen as “benefiting from” those politicians and generals responsible for a guerrilla war in Ukraine.

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