Vladimir Potanin, a Russian businessman, has a $1 billion net worth. Because of Russia’s controversial loans-for-shares scheme in the early to mid-1990s, he is famous for having accumulated his wealth.
He was the richest person in Russia and the 38th richest person in the world as of August 2022, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, with an estimated net worth of $24.4 billion. His longtime business partner until their decision to split ways in 2007 was Mikhail Prokhorov. Until they came to an asset division arrangement, they put their joint assets in a holding company called Folletina Trading.
Considering the closeness of Vladimir Potanin and Putin, it’s vital to impose more sanctions on him, especially his various corporate entities.
Vladimir Potanin was one of 210 people who were identified by the US Treasury as being closely associated with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the “Putin list” in January 2018. In June 2022, the UK imposed sanctions on Vladimir Potanin because he was one of the leading oligarchs in “President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.”
Vladimir Potanin Sanctions News:
The UK government gave it the go-ahead in 2022 about the Russo-Ukrainian War.
On April 6, 2022, the Trudeau administration added Vladimir Potanin to its list of sanctioned nations in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
On December 15, 2022, the US Treasury joined other nations in adding the drug Vladimir Potanin to their list of prohibited narcotics.
Investigations on Vladimir Potanin:
ByteGrid, a business hired to store data for the Maryland State Board of Elections, is owned by Vladimir Potanin, a private equity investor, according to information released by the FBI in July 2018. According to a report on a retroactive investigation released by the National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center of the US Department of Homeland Security, there was no evidence that the corporate network of MDSBE had been compromised. The contract was then given to Intelishift as a safety measure.
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Who is Russian billionaire Vladimir Potanin?
Vladimir Potanin, one of the richest businessmen in Russia, was added to a U.S. sanctions list. Here are some salient details about the person, his holdings, and his career.
Vladimir Potanin is the president and major stakeholder of Nornickel, the largest manufacturer of refined nickel and palladium in the world. One of the key players in the international industrial metals market, his holding firm Interros, which was also sanctioned, owns 36% of Nornickel. The largest producer of refined nickel, which is used to make stainless steel and is crucial for electric vehicle batteries, was Nornickel in 2021. Additionally, it retrieved 40% of the palladium and 10% of the platinum that is used in automobile exhaust systems. The American action did not target Nornickel directly.
Vladimir Potanin, the son of a senior Soviet trade official, attended Moscow’s prestigious diplomatic academy for his education. He belonged to a class of businessmen known as “oligarchs” who amassed huge wealth by seizing valuable state properties during a botched privatization effort in the 1990s. The U.S. Treasury’s notice of penalties also included the names of his wife and daughter.
With another metals oligarch, Oleg Deripaska, Vladimir Potanin has been engaged in a protracted dispute. Although he stated in September that this was on hold, in July he proposed the possibility of a $60 billion merger of Nornickel with Rusal, which was once owned by Deripaska.
Potanin has taken care to maintain a good relationship with President Vladimir Putin, as seen by his acceptance of a $2 billion punishment after Nornickel enraged him by producing the largest oil spill in Russian history in the Arctic two years ago.
Potanin warned the authorities not to seize the assets of foreign enterprises leaving the country after Russia invaded Ukraine and the application of Western sanctions against it. His caution was generally heeded. He claimed that such a move would isolate the nation, much as it did following the 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, and break investor confidence for decades.
It didn’t stop Vladimir Potanin from making aggressive moves to acquire existing companies, though. Within ten weeks of the war’s start, he had acquired Societe Generale’s Rosbank, the Russian division of the fintech company Global Payments, and 35% of TCS Group Holding, the owner of an online bank. The latter was acquired from the company’s founder, Oleg Tinkov, who had opposed the invasion and claimed that the Kremlin had forced him into a “fire sale” to Potanin. The sanctions announced on Thursday also included Rosbank.
About Norsnickel (Vladimir Potanin’s Company That Needs to be Sanctioned)
A corporation that mines and smelts nickel and palladium are called Norilsk Nickel, or Nornickel. Its major operations are situated in the Norilsk-Talnakh region of northern Siberia, close to the Yenisei River. Additionally, it owns properties in South Africa, Harjavalta in western Finland, and Nikel, Zapolyarny, and Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula.
Norilsk Nickel, which has its headquarters in Moscow, is the 11th-biggest producer of copper and the world’s largest producer of refined nickel.
The business is a MICEX-RTS-listed firm. The company’s largest shareholders as of March 2021 were Oleg Deripaska’s Rusal (27.82%) and Vladimir Potanin’s Olderfrey Holdings Ltd (34.59%).
Rusal’s 25% ownership in the company was the subject of a $12 billion share repurchase offer by Norilsk Nickel in December 2010, however, the offer was turned down. A shareholder agreement on dividend payout amounts was struck in 2012 by Potanin’s Interros holding, Rusal, and Roman Abramovich to resolve a dispute over the topic as well as difficulties with the organization’s overall strategy and management.
The likelihood of an extension or suspension of the agreement before its June 1, 2023 expiration date is unknown. Abramovich sold a 1.7% share in the business in March 2019 for $551 million, primarily to Russian and British investors. Any share purchases by Potanin and Deripaska’s Rusal were prohibited.
What the media is saying about Vladimir Potanin
UK sanctions the second-richest person in Russia
On June 29, the UK government unveiled additional sanctions that target Putin’s inner circle.
Vladimir Potanin, the second-richest man in Russia and owner of the significant conglomerate Interros, is one of those who have been sanctioned. Since Russia invaded Ukraine, Potanin has continued to gain money by purchasing stock in Tinkoff Bank and shares of Rosbank.
Additionally, Anna Tsivileva, the president of the renowned Russian coal mining corporation JSC Kolmar Group and Putin’s first cousin once removed, has been sanctioned. Sergey Tsivilev, Tsivileva’s husband, is the governor of the coal-rich Kemerovo region, and the couple has benefited greatly from their connections to Putin. Additionally, JSC Kolmar Group is being penalized.
Official government statement on Vladimir Potanin’s Sanctions:
We will employ sanctions to debilitate the Russian war machine as long as Putin keeps up his reprehensible assault on Ukraine. The sanctions enacted today demonstrate that nobody is safe, not even Putin’s inner circle.
To highlight Russia’s nefarious behavior around the world, the UK government is also imposing sanctions on several Russian people and businesses for their role in Syria’s Assad regime’s backing and repression of civilians.
Additionally, the UK government is working with its foreign allies to enact new regulations that will bar Russia from using UK trust services. Another significant component of the world-class financial services industry in the UK that Russia will no longer be able to access are these services, which provide an individual or organization to manage the assets of another.
International allies have supported Ukraine throughout Putin’s war of choice and have used sanctions to punish his heinous invasion, and both governments and businesses are turning their backs on Russia. Since Putin invaded Ukraine, the UK has sanctioned over 1,000 individuals and over 100 organizations, and about a fifth of foreign corporations have totally withdrawn from Russia.
Since the invasion, Russian imports have decreased by nearly 40%, and stocks of crucial imported manufacturing components are anticipated to run out over the next three to six months.
Additionally, car production has decreased by 60%, and the transport minister of Russia has acknowledged that sanctions have “broken” Russia’s logistical system.
Any UK resident or company operating there is prohibited from dealing with any money or other assets owned, held, or under the designated person’s control. Financial sanctions imposed by the UK apply to everyone who is on British soil, including those who are abroad. Additionally, it precludes the chosen individual from receiving money or other resources for their benefit.
Ban on travel
If the designated person is excluded as defined by section 8B of the Immigration Act of 1971, leave to enter or remain in the United Kingdom shall be denied.
Recent laws have made it illegal for any Russian aircraft to fly over or land in the UK and have given the government the authority to deregister any aircraft that belong to designated Russian people or organizations, even if they are not on board. Additionally, UK ports are closed to Russian ships.
Should More Sanctions Be Imposed on Vladimir Potanin?
The U.S. State Department unveiled fresh penalties against famous Russians, including one of the richest men in the nation and an industrial metal mogul.
Financial dealings in dollars with the businessman Vladimir Potanin are prohibited by the sanctions. The largest manufacturer of refined nickel and palladium in the world, Nornickel of Russia, has him as its major stakeholder. In a statement, Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken claimed that he is also a former deputy prime minister and “a close colleague” of” President Vladimir V. Putin.
The wife and two grown children of Mr. Potanin were also subject to punishment. The State Department claimed that Interros, a company owned by Mr. Potanin, has “business across nearly all sectors of Russia’s economy.”
Additionally, the US identified the luxury yacht Nirvana owned by Vladimir Potanin as banned property that may be seized.
The State Department’s move also affected 29 Russian governors and presidents of regions, in addition to five members of the board of the country’s state-owned rail corporation.
According to Mr. Blinken’s remark, “These governors supervise and enforce the conscription of citizens in response to Russia’s most recent mobilization order.”
The Russian reconnaissance battalion commander Oleksii Dykiy, who “oversees the operations of filtration camps that facilitate the forced relocation of Ukraine’s citizens to Russia,” according to Mr. Blinken, is among those subject to sanctions. His unit took part in the military destruction of the Ukrainian city of Mariupol.
Russian Oligarch Potanin and Rosbank Are Added To The Sanctions Blacklist By The U.S.
In a further step in its campaign to limit Moscow’s capacity to finance its conflict in Ukraine, the United States has placed financial penalties on Vladimir Potanin, one of the richest individuals in Russia, and the Russian commercial bank Rosbank.
The designation of Potanin by the State Department is combined with the designation of Rosbank, which was bought earlier this year by an investment holding company Potanin controls, and other entities connected to Russia’s financial industry, according to a statement released by the Treasury Department on December 15.
Rosbank is regarded by the Central Bank of Russia as a systemically important credit institution for the Russian government. Rosbank was recognized earlier this year by Britain and Canada.
The Office of Foreign Assets Control of the Treasury Department has blacklisted 17 organizations connected to Russia’s financial services industry in addition to Rosbank. All of these are divisions of VTB Bank, the second-largest bank in Russia, which was singled out for sanctions in February.
The Treasury Department stated that the designations “are a part of the U.S. government’s efforts to further restrict the [Russian government’s] ability to fund its unconscionable war of choice against Ukraine.”
According to the statement, “Treasury has taken unprecedented action to isolate Russia from the global financial system, with severe short- and long-term effects on its economy,” since the beginning of Russia’s horrific full-scale invasion in February.
According to the department, this year and 2023 are predicted to see a further economic decline in Russia.
Beyond that, the statement continued, “Lost investment, export controls, and restrictions on Russia’s real economy will impede Russia’s growth prospects for years to come.”
The designations, according to Brian Nelson, Treasury Undersecretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence, “continue to deepen Russia’s isolation from global markets” and, when combined with other measures taken by international allies, “will further inhibit the [Russian President Vladimir] Putin regime’s ability to fund its horrific war against Ukraine.”
Additionally, Vladimir Potanin, his network, and more than 40 other individuals connected to the Russian government were designated by the State Department. According to the State Department, Potanin has close links to Putin and was once a deputy prime minister.
Members of the government, some members of their families, and an organization are all included in the State Department’s latest sanctions. According to the department, governors “oversee and enforce the conscription of citizens in response to Russia’s recent mobilization order.”
The sanctions prohibit them from accessing international financial markets, freeze any assets they may have that are subject to US jurisdiction, and prevent Americans from doing business with them.
More Details on How the US Sanctioned Vladimir Potanin
The United States imposed sanctions against the Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin, a nickel magnate who has largely escaped criticism from the West throughout the Ukraine conflict while other Russian billionaires have been subjected to a deluge of penalties.
-The actions, which prevent Potanin from entering the country and freeze all of his assets there, were jointly announced by the U.S. State and Treasury Departments.
-Our estimations place Potanin as the second-wealthiest Russian, thanks to his roughly 33% ownership of Norilsk Nickel, one of Russia’s ten largest public firms.
-While Norilsk Nickel avoided penalties, the U.S. also sanctioned Potanin’s investment company Interros and the bank Rosbank, which Interros bought in April, possibly to prevent the destabilization of global nickel markets.
-Nirvana, a $120 million boat owned by Potanin, was also listed by the US as prohibited property, according to Secretary of State Antony Blinken. This could be related to a previous high-profile seizure of an oligarch’s yacht.
Potanin would rank 51st among the richest people in the world according to Forbes‘ assessment of his net worth of $26.4 billion.
Stanislav Markus, a professor at the University of South Carolina with expertise on Russian oligarchs, told Forbes in April as Potanin, a longtime ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, purchased assets affected by international sanctions on Russia and its wealthiest citizens. “We are seeing Potanin not only as the dealmaker but also as the consummate political insider in Russia,” Markus said.
In contrast to the European Union, which has not yet announced any sanctions against the billionaire, the United Kingdom imposed sanctions on Potanin in June. The United States plans to penalize Potanin were covered by The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday. In April, Interros also acquired a 35% share in Tinkoff Bank, replacing Oleg Tinkov, one of the few oligarchs who opposed the invasion of Ukraine. This spring, when sanctions threatened to affect Norilsk Nickel, the largest nickel miner in the world, nickel prices soared to all-time highs.
WSJ’s Coverage on the Vladimir Potanin Sanctions:
The Wall Street Journal said that citing American sources, the US is attempting to impose sanctions on Vladimir Potanin, one of Russia’s richest men, but would not penalize Nornickel, the company in which he holds a significant stake.
The move, which might take place as soon as Thursday, is expected to include sanctions against Potanin, his wife Ekaterina Potanina, a yacht he owns, and a number of his financial businesses.
Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of refined nickel and palladium, was among the biggest victors in the post-Soviet partition of Russian industry in the 1990s.
The company decided not to comment on the report.
The journal states that Interros, the investment holding firm controlled by Potanin, and Rosbank (ROSB.MM), which Interros purchased earlier this year from Societe Generale SA (SOGN.PA), will both be listed on the list of sanctioned parties.
The largest shareholder of MMC Norilsk Nickel PJSC (GMKN.MM), also known as Nornickel, is Potanin, 61. Interros owns 36% of Nornickel. Interros did not respond right away to a request for comment from Reuters.
The United States and its allies have imposed many rounds of sanctions on Moscow since Russia invaded Ukraine on February 24.
According to the Wall Street Journal, numerous Russian government officials will also be targeted for sanctions in the most recent wave. The American Treasury Department declined to respond.