Labour MP, Dame Margaret Hodge, and the Liberal Democrats' foreign affairs spokesperson, Layla Moran, expressed concern that the UK is not offering sufficient support to dissident Alexei Navalny who is back in prison following his return to Russia from exile in Germany.
Navalny, the most visible challenger to Putin's autocratic reign, has called for sanctions against Abramovich, who owns Chelsea, and Usmanov, who has ties with Everton through his business partner and majority shareholder at Goodison Park, Farhad Moshiri.
Moshiri owns economic interests in USM Holdings with Usmanov, the Uzbek billionaire, and the firm is now a major club sponsor, with USM's name on the club's Finch Farm training complex and subsidiary MegaFon a sponsor at Goodison Park and of the Everton Women's team.
An associate of Navalny has drawn up a list of eight people whom he says should face sanctions in order to put pressure on Putin and the Government has called on Russia to release the dissident, who was poisoned last year, a charge that Putin's regime rejects.
The individuals on the list were described as being among "key enablers and beneficiaries of Russian kleptocracy, with significant ties/assets in the West" and according to the BBC, Boris Johnson's administration have said they are "considering all options for further action" which could include moves against Russian oligarchs with high-profile presence in Britain.
Reader Comments (28)
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1 Posted 28/01/2021 at 21:09:29
I believe in democracy and abhor any sort of police state - but - how can we complain about Russian interference in our political system when we have MP's calling for these types of sanctions?
2 Posted 28/01/2021 at 23:05:47
3 Posted 28/01/2021 at 23:28:40
"In 2015 there was considerable controversy about her benefiting, to the tune of £1.5 million from assets repatriated from a Lichtenstein trust in 2011 using the Liechtenstein disclosure facility, that reduced penalties and removed the risk of prosecution for Britons moving undeclared assets back to the UK. Coverage focused on the apparent hypocrisy in her condemnation of the use of tax havens" also, Stemcor, the family firm, have an office in Moscow. ... strange people these capitalists.
4 Posted 28/01/2021 at 23:38:41
5 Posted 28/01/2021 at 23:42:57
6 Posted 29/01/2021 at 06:19:06
On the lighter side, does she support or have any shares in an EPL club?
7 Posted 29/01/2021 at 08:23:31
Of course Navalny needs to be free and have freedom to oppose Putin. But theres probably many other maligned investors in the UK economy and UK assets who have dubious backgrounds and dubious sources of their money. Their money seems to be fine and beyond criticism for some reason. I bet you dont have to dig very far to get to rank hypocrisy.
8 Posted 29/01/2021 at 08:25:35
It is up to the Russian people to change this again - if they really want to - and a focal point for that seems to be the chap that has just returned to Russia and has been imprisoned.
It is not up to us in the west, to tell the people of Russia how to grasp democracy, anymore than it is up to Russia to try to influence our politics.
If the people of Russia want change, it will come - if they don't then it won't.
It certainly won't come because a discredited UK politician wants to sequester the assets of some 'friends" of Putin's.
Since voting for Brexit, the little old UK is going to need all the investment help it can get and threatening to sequester the assets of foreign billionaires who are making their home in the UK, is not the best way to attract inward investment.
9 Posted 29/01/2021 at 09:34:14
I think you are probably right.
Personally I think the real bogeyman is to the right of Russia on the map of the world.
Fortunately here in Australia our current government appears to have recognised the threat.
10 Posted 29/01/2021 at 09:52:36
How long has it been now for Julian Assange?
11 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:01:58
12 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:09:49
13 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:28:33
14 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:35:14
Come on lads, we need to be honest with ourselves!
If most of us look deep into our souls we wouldn't want our club to be funded by a shady Russian who has close connections with Putin's authoritarian regime.
How do we know he does? Well he hasn't been poisoned by GRU agents yet so it's pretty much fucking nailed on, isn't it!?
This is the problem with insidiousness. It started with Abramovich, who isn't even allowed to work in the UK any longer. We all knew what he was but over time got used to a young billionaire - the man, by the way, who first recommended Putin for the position he has now held in some form for over 20 years - owning a Premier League club.
In turn many of us became more than a little jealous of the likes of Chelsea and, along the way, forgot a few important things about ourselves and what we really believe in.
The Premier League is a microcosm of the wider world and that same insidiousness has seen most countries shift to the right politically as the things we once abhorred got repackaged and presented to us in ways that made them seem more appealing.
Let's get a fucking grip!
Yes I want Everton to be successful but not with blood on our hands. And who cares if everyone else is doing it. At some point the shit will hit the fan and clubs that rely on such money will be screwed. That or we'll also become a right-wing dictatorship.
Either way, taking money from the likes of Usmanov leads to a shitty outcome, whatever the short-term gains.
Anyway, let's twat the living fuck out of Newcastle tomorrow and help give that fat fucker Bruce his marching orders!
15 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:37:18
I will be very interested to hear the response from some leading Tories if this ever makes the floor of the House of Commons, as 14 Ministers in this Government have received donations from individuals and Companies linked to Russia. Rishi Sunak our Chancellor and our Business Secretary Alok Sharma are 2 of the beneficiaries of Russian money. Also I wonder if Hodge will demand the same investigation into Lubov Chernukhan the wife of a minister in the Putin Government who has personally donated huge sums to the Conservative party. Also Alexander Temerko another linked to Putin who has also donated tens of thousands to the Conservative party. These are known facts not just allegations, so why has Hodge not demanded these be included as well.
Seems we have selected memories in this Country, when Jamal Koshoggi was murdered in the Saudi Embassy on the orders of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, why didnt we stop supplying arms to them. Well were money is concerned seems principles go out the window. Margaret Hodge being a Jewish lady has quite rightly fought anti semitism all her life and recently had to do so in her own Labour party which she deserves great credit. Just a pity I don't hear to much outrage from her regarding the Israeli government building new settlements on Palestinian land.
16 Posted 29/01/2021 at 10:46:40
17 Posted 29/01/2021 at 11:04:18
Either investigate and ban them ALL or dont.
It baffles me how in such PC times, Xenophobia against Russia is not only seen by the left as OK, but often used as a rally cry for publicity and support.
18 Posted 29/01/2021 at 11:29:34
It is scary though if you think opposing somebody like Putin is as some sort of weak trait of the left. He had the UK and US Government in the palm of his hands for some time now as well as funding the far right in France and Italy. Why wouldn't you oppose that? His aim is to weaken the west and make your life much the worse for it.
19 Posted 29/01/2021 at 11:34:38
Of course it isn't limited to Russians. We see with Man City, saw with Newcastle, and plenty other examples.
We will gloss over clear and obvious evilness if we think it may pay for football.
The sooner all these billionaires are kicked out of football the better.
20 Posted 29/01/2021 at 13:38:58
22 Posted 29/01/2021 at 15:52:11
It's one thing people making accusations, which is what dissidents tend to do, otherwise they wouldn't be dissidents, but quite another to provide evidence to support those accusations.
Prima facie, it looks about as solid as the stuff a couple of years ago about the Paradise Papers, mere chat in the absence of evidence of illegal activity.
23 Posted 29/01/2021 at 15:57:44
24 Posted 29/01/2021 at 16:42:54
A few years ago some reds were going on that EFC should support LFC in boycotting The Sun. So I said, I'd support thst provided the entire Murdoch empire is boycotted by LFC, since that empire was the underlying cause of The Sun's activities, cultures always stemming from the top. That includes boycotting Sky and refusing their monies. They said don't be daft, that's where the money for the PL comes from. So I said, I see moral principles provided they're financially expedient.
Talk is cheap, but acting on principle is harder. Any sanctions against oligarchs would have to be very carefully formulated legally, otherwise massive cans of worms might be opened in otherwise apparently normal business dealings.
25 Posted 30/01/2021 at 09:15:02
All a matter of degree, I suppose.
Anyone for being a baronet? Never be accepted by anyone from the TUC or a Chairman doing what's right for his shareholders.
26 Posted 30/01/2021 at 20:54:18
27 Posted 31/01/2021 at 02:28:34
So we are not allowed to highlight abuse of power and corruption in other countries?? Not allowed to bring whatever pressure we can muster to an obvious evil unless we are pure as the driven snow???
Obviously you are too young to remember apartheid in South Africa and too (self-absorbed? Pissed?) to notice that you can actually voice support for whatever you like, despite what some keyboard warriors might think. It's called free speech.
28 Posted 31/01/2021 at 05:07:13
So to sum up, none of those troublesome facts or proof then, not any? None at all? Just a rehash of old rumour, brought out under protection of parliamentary privilege as a stick to beat the Tories with.
As if the 100,000 deaths aren't stick enough then... but Labour don't want to go there, do they? It wouldn't be the done thing to be seen to rock the boat in times of national emergency, would it Sir Keir? — My dad was a toolmaker, you know; I've got cred and a labour-sounding name, me, Starmer!
29 Posted 31/01/2021 at 21:13:01
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