Gennady Timchenko – the top of the list of Russian billionaires – Photo: AP
US President Joe Biden on February 22 launched sanctions targeting Russia’s sale of sovereign debt abroad and the country’s super-rich. At the same time, Mr. Biden said he would send an unspecified number of additional US troops to the three Baltic states (including Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) in a defensive move to protect NATO countries.
According to News Agency BloombergGennady Timchenko, the head of the list of Russian billionaires, has lost nearly a third of his fortune since January 1, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index’s list of the world’s 500 richest people.
Timchenko, 69, the son of a Soviet military officer who met and befriended Russian President Vladimir Putin in the early 1990s, is worth about $16 billion. Most of his fortune comes from shares in Russian gas producer Novatek, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.
The net worth of Mr. Leonid Mikhelson, shareholder of Novatek, decreased by $6.2 billion in 2022. While the net worth of the chairman of the multinational Lukoil Energy Group, Mr. Vagit Alekperov, decreased by about 3.5 billion dollars as shares of the energy company fell nearly 17%.
Russia’s 23 billionaires have a net worth of $343 billion, down from $375 billion at the end of 2021.
The market fell further this week after President Putin recognized two breakaway republics in Ukraine, which led to Germany suspending an energy project with Russia. Britain also imposed sanctions on five banks and three wealthy individuals, including billionaire Timchenko.
Also on the British sanctions list are Boris Rotenberg, 65, and grandson Igor, 48. These are people from the same family who earned their fortune through the Stroygazmontazh Gas Pipeline Construction Company.
Igor’s father, Arkady – one of Putin’s former judo fellows – sold the pipeline construction company in 2019 for about $1.3 billion. Five years earlier, Mr. Arkady bought shares from his younger brother, Boris Rotenberg, when both brothers and Mr. Timchenko were affected by US sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea.