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Monday 22 September 2014

Putin's long-time judo partner on list of eight Russians to have assets frozen by EU

Justyna Pawlak and Barbara Lewis

Published 30/07/2014 | 20:10

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The EU has moved to curb Russia's access to bank financing and advanced technology in its widest-ranging sanctions yet over President Vladimir Putin's backing of the rebellion in eastern Ukraine
The EU has moved to curb Russia's access to bank financing and advanced technology in its widest-ranging sanctions yet over President Vladimir Putin's backing of the rebellion in eastern Ukraine

The European Commission published the names of eight Russians, including some of President Vladimir Putin's associates, and three companies which will have their assets frozen as part of sanctions against Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine.

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The people on the list include Arkady Rotenberg who is Putin's long-time judo partner, and already on a U.S. sanctions list since March.

Yury Kovalchuk and Nikolai Shamalov - the two largest shareholders in Bank Rossiya, a St. Petersburg company that expanded rapidly after Putin moved to Moscow and became president in 2000 - were also blacklisted.

The companies named include Russian National Commercial Bank, which was the first Russian bank into Crimea after the region's annexation by Russia earlier this year.

The other two firms are anti-aircraft weapons maker Almaz-Antey and Dobrolyot airline, which operates flights between Moscow and Simferopol in the Crimea.

Tension between Moscow and the West over Russia's backing for rebels in eastern Ukraine worsened after the downing of Malaysian flight MH17 over rebel-held territory on July 17 by what Western countries say was a Russian-supplied missile.

Wednesday's list of names brings the number of people and entities subject to travel bans and asset freezes to 95 people and 23 organisations.

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