Target Russian loot overseas

Russia is often called a “kleptocracy” because of the epic level of corruption.…

**Laundered Money Could Be Putin’s Achilles’ Heel**
**By Paul Krugman, The New York Times, Feb. 24, 2022, 4:28 p.m. ET**


**Russia has run huge trade surpluses every year since the early 1990s, which should have led to a large accumulation of overseas assets. Yet official statistics show Russia with only moderately more assets than liabilities abroad. How is that possible? The obvious explanation is that wealthy Russians have been skimming off large sums and parking them abroad.**

** 2015 the hidden foreign wealth of rich Russians amounted to around 85 percent of Russia’s G.D.P. To give you some perspective, this is as if a U.S. president’s cronies had managed to hide $20 trillion in overseas accounts. ... [gasp!]...**

**There are two uncomfortable facts here. First, a number of influential people, both in business and in politics, are deeply financially enmeshed with Russian kleptocrats. This is especially true in Britain....Second, ultrawealthy people all over the world have money hidden in offshore accounts....** [end quote]

Can these accounts be frozen? Who has the will, knowledge and authority to do this?



Key word, “enmeshed.”

You’ll never see American kleptocrats turn on their brother thieves overseas.



We, in the US, have our own kleptocrats which have been making money by allowing Russians (and other) wealthy individuals hide their money in the US (and similarly in the UK) in real estate and the financial markets.

We can address this - starting with cutting Russia off from the SWIFT bank routing system, followed by locating where the money has previously been transferred and clamping down on it. That said, there would be significant push-back from the US and UK real estate, private school, banking, investing, luxury goods and related industry lobbyists.



UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss outlined in full the punishing new sanctions that will devastate Russia’s economy and target Vladimir Putin’s inner circle.…

  1. Comprehensive sanctions covering Russian elites, companies and financial institutions announced following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine
  2. Russian bank assets in UK to be frozen totally shutting off its banking system from UK finance markets
  3. UK is banning Russian state-owned and key strategic private companies from raising finance on the UK financial markets
  4. More than 100 companies and oligarchs at the heart of Putin’s regime hit with sanctions today worth 100s of billions of pounds, asset freezes and travel bans
  5. Punitive new restrictions on trade and export controls against Russia’s hi-tech and strategic industries
  6. Russia’s national airline Aeroflot banned from UK airspace
  7. New restrictions to cut off wealthy Russians’ access to UK banks
  8. UK is working with allies to exclude Russia from the SWIFT financial system

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement to the House of Commons, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has today outlined in full punishing new sanctions that will devastate Russia’s economy and target Putin’s inner circle.

We are immediately designating more Russian individuals and entities, including:

  1. Kirill Shamalov, Russia’s youngest billionaire and previously married to Putin’s daughter Katarina
  2. Petr Fradkov, head of the recently sanctioned Promsvyazbank and son of the former head of Russian Foreign Intelligence (FSB).
  3. Denis Bortnikov, Deputy President of Russia’s largest bank VTB. Bortnikov is the son of Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) which was responsible for the poisoning of political activist Alexey Navalny in August 2020 with a banned chemical agent from the Novichok group
  4. Yury Slyusar, director of United Aircraft Corporation, a major aircraft manufacturer for the Russian military
  5. Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva, chair of the board of Novikombank, a state-owned defence conglomerate

These individuals will be unable to travel to the UK and any UK-based assets will be frozen.