EU removes 3 Russian businessmen from sanctions list

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The European Union has ceased sanctions against three Russian businessmen — Grigory Berezkin, Farkhad Akhmedov, and Alexander Shulgin.

This was reported by the EU's Official Journal on Sept. 14. The bloc also removed from the sanctions list Georgy Shuvaev, a Russian colonel purportedly killed in Ukraine last year.

Berezkin is the chairman of one of Russia's largest holding companies, ESN Group, whose assets include the RBC media holding. He's reportedly close to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Azerbaijan-born Akhmedov is a former senator and co-owner of the Russian natural gas-producing company Nortgas.

Read also: Ukraine imposes sanctions on petty pro-Russian politicians, yet ignores most high-profile ones

Shulgin previously headed Ozon, a Russian e-commerce firm, and Russia's biggest tech company, Yandex. He left Ozon in April 2022 after being sanctioned by the EU and Australia.

Western countries have imposed sanctions against multiple Russian oligarchs who were deemed involved in Moscow's military aggression against Ukraine. According to Reuters, the EU has sanctioned around 1,600 individuals and more than 200 entities since Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea in 2014.

The EU needs the consensus of all 27 member states to impose sanctions, which are renewed every six months.

On Aug. 26, the Financial Times reported that Arkady Volozh, tech billionaire and co-founder of Russia's popular search engine Yandex, had made a formal request for the EU to lift its sanctions against him. Earlier, Volozh publicly spoke out against Russia's invasion of Ukraine, calling it "barbaric."

Read also: US announces new sanctions targeting Russia’s military-linked elites, industrial base

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