Vladimir Putin’s daughters placed under sanctions by the UK

LONDON, (Parliament Politics Magazine) – Following in the footsteps of the United States, the United Kingdom has placed sanctions on two adult daughters of Vladimir Putin, in yet another symbolic measure with an intention of putting pressure on Russia for invading Ukraine.

Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova will face an asset freeze and a travel ban, though it is unclear whether any of them had ever visited the UK or had any assets that may be seized by UK authorities.

On Wednesday, the US placed sanctions on the women, a senior US official claiming that many of Putin’s assets were hidden with the members of the family.  There have been frequent but unverified allegations that Putin has other daughters, but Tikhonova and Vorontsova are the only ones who are his publicly acknowledged children.

The UK designated both on Friday under an urgent procedure that allows the government to apply sanctions based on evidence provided by allies if they believe it is in the interest of the public. The UK has 56 days to find its own proof under the urgent procedure.

According to two EU sources who spoke on the condition of anonymity to the Associated Press, the sisters have been sanctioned as part of a new sanctions package aimed at Russian oligarchs, businessmen and the economy. On Friday morning, neither daughter had been included on the EU’s public sanctions list.

A report on the EUobserver website earlier this week suggested that sanctions that were to be announced soon would also cover multiple wives, ex-wife, and sisters, mother-in-law and stepdaughters of Russian oligarchs, citing a rough draft of the EU list.

Putin’s daughters from Lyudmila, his former wife, have had a low public profile and haven’t appeared in public with him as adults.

Vorontsova was born in April 1985 in Leningrad, now St Petersburg, and Tikhonova was born a year after that in Dresden, where Putin served underground as a spy for the KGB intelligence service until the end of the Soviet Union, according to the UK sanctions designation.

Tikhonova was described as a “tech executive” by the United States. Vorontsova, a paediatric endocrinologist who studies the impact of hormones on the body, is alleged to be in charge of state-funded programmes that “got billions of dollars from the Kremlin toward genetics research and are directly overseen by Putin,” according to the report.

Tikhonova, who goes by her maternal grandmother’s surname, earned a master’s degree in mathematics and physics after studying at Moscow State University and St Petersburg State University.

While Putin has previously stated that they “live their own lives,” the US administration has stated that there was evidence that those in their immediate surroundings had profited from their father’s position.

Tikhonova was formerly married to Kirill Shamalov, who was sanctioned by the United States in April 2018 as a result of Russia’s “worldwide malign activity.” Shamalov married Tikhonova in February 2013, according to the US authorities.

His finances substantially improved after the marriage, the US stated, citing the purchase of a large percentage of Sibur, a Russian oil and gas business, and a $1 billion loan from state-controlled Gazprombank as examples of how he became a member of the “billionaire elite.”


Image via The Guardian