NEWS UPDATE #83

·Official: Oligarch Usmanov’s sister’s yacht DILBAR arrested in Germany.

The Federal Criminal Police Office of Germany (VKA, German counterpart of the FBI) has identified the owner of the superyacht DILBAR – the sister of Russian oligarch Alisher Usmanov Gulbahor Ismailov. The agency says the yacht is subject to European sanctions. German authorities had blocked the 156metre yacht DILBAR two days after Usmanov came under EU sanctions over Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The cost of the Dilbar yacht is estimated at US$ 600 million. It is the largest motor yacht in terms of displacement, and, has a crew 96 people

The yacht has been undergoing modernisation in the port of Hamburg since the end of October 2021. [12:29pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·Russian-British joint gold-mining company, Petropavlovsk, one of the largest, may sell its “subsidiaries” and leave investors with nothing.

Due to the sanctions, one of the largest gold mining companies in Russia, Petropavlovsk, plans to sell its subsidiaries, as a result of which investors may be left without any payments.

Registered in London, Petropavlovsk, which operates in Russia, has a US$ 200 million outstanding loan from the sanctioned GAZPROMBANK and about US$ 86.7 million in revolving credit lines. Payments on the lines came due in late March in the amount of almost US$ 10 million.

The condition of these loans is that GAZPROMBANK buys 100% of the group’s gold production. But British restrictions prohibit further sales of gold to the sanctioned bank, so Petropavlovsk is looking for other buyers for it.

The international credit rating agency S&P Global Ratings downgraded the credit rating of the gold mining company Petropavlovsk to “selective default” and revoked it.[1:45pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·The 25th World Energy Congress, to be held in St. Petersburg in October 2022, has been officially cancelled.

The Congress was originally scheduled for 24-27 October 2022. [ 2:06pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·Against the background of the departure of foreign companies, Russians are buying up home appliances of Russian and Belarusian production – in March, sales increased by 50-70%.

From the end of February to the end of March the demand for all electronic goods increased several times, and the sales leader was imported goods in medium and high price segments.

Due to sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Western countries have banned the export to Russia of a range of goods, construction materials, various technical equipment and parts, which has provoked rising prices and disruptions in production in Russia. Consequently, the sales of domestically-produced brands have risen by up to 2.5 times more than the same period last year. [2:41pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·UBER taxi service resumes work in Kyiv after receiving a positive decision from the city authorities.

As of today, UBER has resumed operations in Kyiv. To support the immediate reconstruction of the city, UBER will not charge any commission fees – this means that the full fare paid by passengers will go directly to local drivers. [2:36pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·The world’s leading manufacturer of disposable tableware and food packaging – the Finnish HUHTAMAKI – has initiated a process to close its activities in Russia.

This follows the earlier decision to suspend all investment in Russia after the invasion of Ukraine.

HUHTAMAKI has four production units in Russia, employing about 700 people.Net sales in Russia account for approximately 3% of the group’s total sales. [5:45pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·The town of Fuentes de Andalusia in southern Spain was renamed UKRAINE for a week to express solidarity with Ukrainians.

The city, in the province of Seville, with a population of 7,200 people, was renamed at the initiative of residents to demonstrate solidarity with Ukrainians in the face of the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.

In addition, five streets were temporarily renamed:Kyiv, Mariupol, Kharkiv, Kherson and Odessa. [5:50pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·SEB Bank in the Baltic States will stop servicing payments to and from Russia and Belarus in any currency from June.

After May 31, regular payments will stop automatically.

It is noted that from June the bank will provide payments to Russia and Belarus and from these countries only if they are necessary to ensure the most important government functions or will be made for humanitarian aid or pensions.

Earlier, the SWEDBANK Group decided to suspend payments to and from Russia and Belarus, in compliance with all requirements of the sanctions of the European Union and the US Office of Foreign Assets Control.

Payments to Russia and Belarus will be possible until April 20, 2022 inclusive, payments from these countries – until May 6, 2022 inclusive.[6:05pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·The United States is preparing new measures to combat Russia’s evasion of sanctions – within the “next week or two” will announce measures against companies in Russia and other countries to circumvent the sanctions. [7:06pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·Ukraine will play in the Volleyball World Cup in 2022 instead of Russia. [8:32pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

·Britain imposes sanctions on two of Abramovich’s partners: freezes assets worth 10 billion pounds.

The United Kingdom has added to the sanctions list two business partners of oligarch Roman Abramovich – Eugene Tenenbaum and David Davidovich: the government has frozen their assets worth up to 10 billion pounds.

“These measures, combined with others announced to date, have reduced key sources of revenue for Putin’s military machine,” the UK government added.

According to British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, the freezing of the assets of Tenenbaum and Davidovich for a total of up to 10 billion pounds “is the largest action to freeze assets in the history of Great Britain.”

·Russians stole radioactive items from Chernobyl, which police seized from pilferers.

“They took a lot of things, in particular, they robbed a police station right on the territory of Chernobyl. There were radioactive items that were seized from pilferers who took them from the irradiated danger zone.

These have disappeared and we understand that they are now in parcels sent from Belarus by the retreating Russian soldiers to their family Russia. Do not envy those mothers and wives who will receive such “gifts”. [9:34pm 14-4-2022 Kyiv]

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