UK Government sanctions Russia’s ‘nickel king’ Potanin

The UK Government has today announced sanctions on Russian oligarch Vladimir Potanin – known as the country’s ‘nickel king’ – in a move aimed at further punishing President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle amid the ongoing invasion of Ukraine.

Potanin, considered Russia’s second richest man with a net worth of US$30.2 billion, is one of several multibillionaires targeted by the UK’s fresh sanctions, including Putin’s second cousin and head of major Russian coal producer JSC Kolmar Group Anna Tsivileva.

“Today’s sanctions show that nothing and no one is off the table, including Putin’s inner circle,” a spokesperson said in a statement released by the UK Government.

Potanin has been snapping up assets from companies exiting his come country since the invasion of Ukraine began in March, including Rosbank and United Card Services, the Russian unit of US-listed Global Payments, according to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

It is not clear yet whether the sanctions on Potanin would extend to Norilsk Nickel, or Nornickel, the world’s largest producer of palladium and refined nickel, led by the Russian oligarch in which he has a 36% stake.

Two years ago, the mining tycoon paid a $2 billion fine after Nornickel was responsible for Russia’s biggest Arctic oil spill two years ago.