Canada has targeted media tycoon Alexander Lebedev as part of a wave of fresh sanctions against Russian oligarchs, in a move that places greater scrutiny on the billionaire’s links to the U.K. government.
Lebedev, who has not yet been sanctioned as part of the U.K.’s efforts to deter the Kremlin’s war in Ukraine, purchased U.K. media outlets the Evening Standard and the Independent just over a decade ago. Lebedev has been pictured at lavish gatherings with U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson, according to reports by the Guardian.
The Canadian government confirmed on Friday that an additional 14 Russian oligarchs, their family members and “close associates of the Putin regime” will face additional sanctions in Canada for directly enabling “Vladimir Putin’s senseless war in Ukraine.”
Other individuals targeted include Formula One race-car driver Nikita Mazepin and David Davidovich, a close associate of former Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich, who sold the football club after being subjected to U.K. sanctions.
The Canadians have also placed a ban on the import and export of “targeted luxury goods” between their country and Russia. In announcing the new restrictions, Canada’s Foreign Minister Mélanie Joly said that the Kremlin must be held accountable for its actions in Ukraine.
“The Putin regime must, and will, answer for their unjustifiable acts,” she said. “Canada, together with our allies, will be relentless in our efforts to maintain pressure on the Russian regime, until it is no longer able to wage war,” Joly added.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine on February 24, Canada has imposed sanctions on more than 1,000 individuals and entities from Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.