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Target Putin's facilitators

Putin's invasion into The Ukraine has produced a stream of historically unprecedented measures: Switzerland is meant to be considering freezing Russian assets; Turkey is pondering on closing the Strait of Istanbul to Russian navy; Germany is announcing creation of a defense fund with an initial €100 billion lump sum which will be replenished yearly with 2% of Germany's GDP; many European countries are sending weapons and resources to prevent Putin from succeeding; the EU has shut its airspace to all Russian owned, registered and operated planes, and has announced that for the first time ever it will finance purchase and delivery of weapons to a fellow European nation (Ukraine); the whole of Europe wants to join NATO now.

Beyond those measures, Russia has been put under all manner of economic sanctions. The household names in the oligarch world are supposedly going to be affected for the first time ever. It is of paramount importance to target their underlings too. Every owner, board member, stakeholder of every Russian entity operating internationally, or of any non-Russian owned / controlled company connected to Russia should be sanctioned. Not just known CEOs.

Low key individuals like Boris Ivanov, Vladimir Shvarts, Sergey Tagashov, Ivan Zudenkov and Vladimir Anisimov must make every list of sanctions. Their non-Russian partners, associates, propagandists and lobbyists ought to get same treatment. None should be allowed to live and move freely in the Western world, while lavishly spending ill gotten gains. None should be allowed to carry on doing Putin's bidding. None should be allowed to use courts in the Western world.

Within framework of international sanctions against Russia and Vladimir Putin, the U.S., the U.K., the European Union and the G7 should take particular aim against these enablers and facilitators, the cogs that keep the Kremlin's criminality running smoothly. These proxies are of a type that is not necessarily well known when compared to a Roman Abramovich, an Oleg Deripaska, or Mikhail Prokhorov. They are nevertheless instrumental in ensuring Putin's global destabilisation plans and are found living in many Western countries, as respected members of society

Banks, wealth managers, law firms, PR firms, and shipping and insurance companies involved with Russian parties should be targeted via secondary sanctions, because none is in a position to provide proof of legitimate origin of funds. It is all looted.

Rosneft and Gazprom have been operating in Venezuela for a long time. Before the Trump's administration's raft of Department of Treasury sanctions against Nicolas Maduro's regime and against PDVSA, executives from those companies had very fluid relations at the highest levels of power in Venezuela. It continues to be the case and Russia has been instrumental in assisting Maduro with Treasury-sanctions busting know-how, but once sanctions were announced they came up with a "retreat".

Rosneft said it was selling its Venezuela assets. The pretend sale was typical Putin: a simple parking of assets in yet another Kremlin-controlled vehicle (Roszarubezhneft). Far from a one-off, Russia has form when it comes to asset disposal to circumvent sanctions. A joint Russian-Venezuelan venture called Evrofinance Mosnarbank -formed by VTB, Gazprombank, and FONDEN (Venezuela's National Development Fund which owns 49.9%) did something similar: VTB and Gazprombank transferred their stakes to Rosimushchestvo (Federal Agency for State Property Management). For free, just like Rosneft.

The formula is popular

Rosneft still owns 49.9% of CITGO, the Venezuelan refiner in the U.S. That stake has become fair game for Treasury-backed asset freezes against Kremlin-controlled enterprises.

Sweden should once and for all revise what’s happening at Nynas, and probe Russian involvement in the company (GPB Global Resources). When Department of Treasury sanctions hit Nynas a reorganisation was announced. PDVSA, which had 50.1%, "shed" 35% of its shares to a foundation controlled by Nynas' management, and allowed Russian executives from GPB Global Resources to appoint legal counsel on PDVSA's behalf. 

GPB's gravitas in Nynas' reorganisation process came via procurement of Venezuelan crude (Petrozamora), accumulated debt and loans, none of which justified PDVSA's relinquishing its authority and station during restructuring. 

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