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New shock for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea

New shock for Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich, owner of Chelsea

BRUSSELS – Reuters

European Union foreign ministers have agreed to include Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich on the European Union’s list of Russian billionaires sanctioned after Moscow invaded Ukraine, two diplomatic sources said on Monday.

One of the sources said the unofficial green light for Abramovich’s inclusion came at Sunday’s meeting, and that EU envoys would meet again to adopt the measure, and another set of economic sanctions against Russia.

Sanctions will only be effective after they are published in the EU’s Official Gazette, which usually happens within hours or the day after official approval.

The West has imposed sanctions on Russia’s wealthy, froze state assets and isolates much of Russia’s corporate sector from the global economy in a bid to force Russian President Vladimir Putin to change course on Ukraine.

In what will be the fourth round of European Union sanctions against Russia since its invasion of Ukraine on February 24, the 27-nation bloc will ban the export of luxury goods to Russia, including expensive luxury cars.

During a meeting, diplomats asked the commission, which drafted the economic sanctions, to explain some aspects of the new economic measures to make sure they could not be appealed to in EU courts, according to two EU sources.

Britain had already blacklisted Abramovich.

A second EU official told Reuters that the owner of Chelsea FC holds a Portuguese passport, which means Portugal can in principle refrain from imposing an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban.