The New Zealand Government has announced its first set of sanctions in response to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine but Greenpeace says they have missed the most obvious target.
“It’s good to see the Government finally moving on sanctions in response to Putin’s brutal invasion of Ukraine, but it’s disappointing to see that they have so far left out the billionaire oligarch Alexander Abramov,” says Greenpeace Aotearoa programme director Niamh O’Flynn.
“If Jacinda Ardern’s Government is serious about applying pressure to help stop President Putin’s war on Ukraine, we need to see more than token travel bans. It seems very unlikely that any New Zealand businesses have much trade with the Cossack National Guard, or that members of Russia’s State Duma will be planning a New Zealand getaway any time soon.”
“Everyday our Government delays sanctioning the oligarchs close to Putin’s regime with ties to New Zealand, we are not playing our part in the global push to end the war in Ukraine. People are fleeing their homes and dying, and the threat of nuclear disaster looms. Our government needs to take stronger action immediately,” says O’Flynn.
Abramov is co-founder and chairman of Russian steel producer Evraz, with an estimated net worth of $5.9 billion. He also owns a luxury retreat in Helena Bay. Greenpeace has been calling on the Government to freeze the assets of oligarchs like Abramov.
Abramov is the chairman and 29% shareholder in UK based steel company Evraz which has been accused of providing steel to build Russian tanks.
Abramov also has close ties with fellow oligarch Roman Abramovich, the recent owner of Chelsea Football Club whose assets have been frozen by the UK over ” clear links to Putin“. The two oligarchs are investment partners in businesses across the world, including substantial ownership of the Steel Company, Ezra.
Over 11,500 people have signed a petition calling for the New Zealand Government to “freeze oligarch assets”.
On March 12, Greenpeace released information that links Alexander Abramov to Vladimir Putin.
On March 8, Greenpeace announced it would join the Peace Flotilla.
On March 5, Greenpeace first called on the Government to put sanctions on Russian oligarchs in New Zealand
Original Source: https://thedailyblog.co.nz/2022/03/24/russia-sanctions-by-new-zealand-off-to-a-limp-start-greenpeace/