Great Britain imposed sanctions against Belarusian officials and Russian businessman Mikhail Gutseriev for supporting the political regime of Alexander Lukashenko, informs the office of the British prime minister. Simultaneously, London imposed sectoral sanctions against Belarus in the areas of trade, finance and aviation.
In a press release, Gutseriev is called “one of the main private investors in Belarus and a longtime associate of Alexander Lukashenko.”
“Gutseriev provided support to the Belarusian authorities, including through his business interests,” the message says.
On Monday, Downing Street announced new economic sanctions against Minsk in three areas: trade, finance and aviation. “The Lukashenka regime continues to destroy democracy and violate human rights in Belarus. These sanctions demonstrate that the UK will not accept Lukashenka’s actions after electoral fraud. Lukashenka’s state-owned industry products will not be sold in the UK. Our aerospace companies will not touch his fleet of luxury aircraft, ”said British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab.
Belarusian airlines were banned from flying over the kingdom and landing at British airports. British businesses have been banned from helping Lukashenka maintain his planes. The government’s message also refers to “trade measures aimed at potash, oil products.” We are also talking about tracking and intercepting goods and technologies that are used for the production of cigarettes, technologies and dual-use goods and goods that can be used to intensify repression against the Belarusian society.
In addition, the sanctions contain a ban on insurance of state bodies of Belarus, and also imply a tightening of the existing arms embargo.
The measures follow a previous package of sanctions that the British imposed on July 21 in response to the Ryanair forced landing incident in Minsk, jointly with the US, Canada and the EU.
President of Belarus Alexander Lukashenko reacted with irritation to the new sanctions. “Who will introduce economic sanctions today? Great Britain? The Lord is with you! Yes, you choke on these sanctions in the UK! We have not known this Great Britain for a thousand years and do not want to know. American henchmen! – Lukashenka said at a press conference on August 9. – And introduce sanctions. We will wait and see what this will lead to if you don’t come to your senses ”. The President quotes Interfax.
In June, Gutseriev came under EU sanctions on the same basis. On July 7, he came under similar Swiss sanctions.
Due to sanctions Gutseriev came out from the board of directors of Russneft, in which he was the chairman and from the board of directors of PJSC Safmar financial investments.
The Safmar company controlled by Gutseriev and his family, which also includes RussNeft, became the only Russian company that supplied raw materials to Belarusian refineries during the energy crisis between Belarus and Russia in early 2020. Mikhail Gutseriev is ranked 60th in the Forbes ranking of the richest businessmen in Russia in 2021. Edition evaluates his fortune is $ 2.5 billion.
The introduction of the British sanctions against Mikhail Gutseriev was commented on by The Insider by the lawyer and special adviser on sanctions law Sergey Glandin.
On June 21, there was the so-called fourth package of European Union sanctions against the Lukashenka regime. First of all, he touched upon businessmen who are in the orbit of the self-proclaimed Belarusian leader. Gutseriev got there. The European Union has a very good rationale, because, by virtue of the applicable law, they must very well prescribe the reasons and grounds for imposing sanctions, so that a person can understand why he is doing this. What’s interesting here? If we take information from the European Union, then only Gutseriev’s Russian passport is indicated there. If we open today’s British sanctions list, we will see a very interesting fact there. There are parallels here with Deripaska, whose Cypriot citizenship we learned only when he came under US sanctions.
What is the strangeness of the sanctions against Gutseriev? Switzerland has joined the European sanctions along with a number of EU member states such as Serbia, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Norway. If we count how many days have passed since the introduction of EU sanctions, we get in fact 50 days. Britain, in its own way, made such a gift to Mikhail Gutseriev. This period would have been enough for him to restructure his assets.
The sanctions are already in effect, since they were published in due course. The whole set of financial and economic prohibitions and restrictions is applied to Mikhail Safarbekovich. He has nothing special. From now on, if he had British bank accounts, they were frozen. If he had brokerage accounts, then those funds are also frozen. Moreover, all British business and business entities are now prohibited from entering into legal relations with him. He is now a prohibited person and if he wants to buy, say, a yacht or open a new account, he will be refused. These restrictions will now begin to operate within a certain period of time. If Mikhail Safarbekovich had any assets on British soil, then those assets will have the same fate, they will be frozen. They will continue to be assets belonging to him, but while he is under British sanctions, he cannot dispose of them.