Latest U.S. Sanctions Strike $15 Billion Blow to Russian Oligarchs

Companies owned by Russian billionaires recently sanctioned by the U.S. suffered losses exceeding $15 billion, CrimeRussia reported citing RIA news agency.

The figures presented were according to the Bloomberg Billionaire Index (BBI), a rating which includes the world’s 500 richest people and is updated daily following the results of the exchange trades in New York. This list includes 25 Russians, but only one of them increased the fortune during the last 24 hours.

Vladimir Potanin’s Norilsk Nickel experienced the highest loss – his fortune decreased by 2.28 billion dollars. The main owner of the Renova group of companies, Viktor Vekselberg, lost 1.28 billion, while Lukoil head and co-owner Vagit Alekperov’s fortune dropped by 1.37 billion dollars.

The main owner of NLMK, Vladimir Lisin, lost 1.31 billion, co-owner of Novatek and Sibur Leonid Mikhelson – 1.03 billion, and Severstal founder Alexey Mordashov – 987 million dollars. The fortunes of businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Mikhail Prokhorov dropped by 1.15 billion and 95.7 million dollars, respectively.

On April 6, the United States imposed sanctions against 17 Russian top officials, as well as seven businessmen and companies controlled by them. The list includes, in particular, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev, Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev, entrepreneurs Oleg Deripaska, Suleyman Kerimov, Kirill Shamalov, Gazprom CEO Alexey Miller.

The Russian Foreign Ministry promised a tough response to Washington’s move.

Last week, a bipartisan duo of U.S. congressmen introduced a bill that could harm Russian businesses even more. Reps. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) and Mike Turner (R-Ohio), both members of the House Intelligence Committee, rolled out legislation which states the president would have the power to decide who to levy the sanctions against once it is determined who “knowingly engaged in, provided material support to, worked on behalf of” the perpetrators behind the attack. The bill is also intended to serve as a deterrent.

“Russian aggression must be met with strength and resolve, including through sanctions to deter future Russian attacks on dissidents, expatriates, and democratic activists,” the bill reads.

“This bill also targets Russian financial institutions until [Russian President Vladimir] Putin ceases its practice of assassinating expatriates and dissidents outside of Russia,” the bill says.