TWO more oligarchs have been sanctioned by the UK Government as Downing Street faces pressure to take quicker action.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced the new penalties this evening, following speculation that her department was struggling to build watertight legal cases for sanctioning wealthy Russians.
She announced that Alisher Usmanov and Igor Shuvalov, who are worth around $19bn combined, would have their assets frozen and banned from travel to the UK immediately.
The Foreign Secretary also announced that an oligarch taskforce, which would work on targetting her “hit list” of Russian elites, would be launched next week.
Both of the sanctioned oligarchs have close links to the Kremlin, and interests in the UK.
Mr Usmanov has shares in Arsenal football club and a business interest in Everton.
He is also the owner of the £48million Beechwood House in Highgate, London, and the 16th century Sutton Place estate in Surrey.
Igor Shuvalov’s assets in the UK include two luxury apartments in central London worth an estimated £11m.
The Foreign Office said he was a core part of Putin’s inner circle, and headed up Russia’s bid for the 2018 Football World Cup.
The Foreign Secretary said: “Our message to Putin and his allies has been clear from day one – invading Ukraine would have serious and crippling economic consequences.
“Sanctioning Usmanov and Shuvalov sends a clear message that we will hit oligarchs and individuals closely associated with the Putin regime and his barbarous war. We won’t stop here.
“Our aim is to cripple the Russian economy and starve Putin’s war machine.”