The justification for sanctioning New Zealand’s wealthiest Russian investor, Alexander Abramov is growing stronger by the day according to Greenpeace Aotearoa which has today released a list of points to make the case for freezing the oligarch’s assets immediately.

Sailing towards Abramov’s luxury Helena Bay resort on the Northland coast with the Ukraine Peace Flotilla, Greenpeace Aotearoa programme director says “Greenpeace applauds the Government passing the Russia Sanctions Act, however, Putin’s war is now 17 days old. People are dying and the billionaire oligarch Alexander Abramov’s has yet to be sanctioned in New Zealand. There is a strong moral case for action, and it is backed up by some clear connections to Putin’s sphere of influence.”

“The point of sanctions is to put pressure on Putin to end the war on Ukraine, and that cannot wait. Abramov is the wealthiest Russian investor in New Zealand and the case for sanctions against him is strong. We urge the Government to freeze his assets without delay.”

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 to which the ‘Ukraine Peace Flotilla‘ is currently setting sail, calling on the Government to freeze the assets of oligarchs like Abramov.

Alexander Abramov and Russian President Vladimir Putin
Alexander Abramov and Russian President Vladimir Putin

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.

Vladimir Putin’s biographer, Chris Hutchins, described the relationship between the Russian president and Abramov’s business partner Abramovich, as ‘like that between a father and a favourite son.’

Further evidence of Abramov’s close ties with Putin include:

  • Vladimir Putin awarded the steel magnate Abramov the Order of Friendship in 2015.
  • Evidence was given in the High Court in London that Abramovich bought Putin a $50M superyacht.
  • Alexander Abramov has been described by the Russian press as a ‘high flying lobbyist” within the Russian Government.
  • When Abramov’s steel interests were in jeopardy, President Putin paid a personal visit to one of his steel mills in Siberia.
  • Abramov was quoted in the Russian media as saying that “Global Competitive advantages are created not by managers but by politicians”
  • Abramov is on the so-called ‘Putin List’, which contains the names of more than 100 oligarchs drawn up by the US Treasury

“Alexander Abramov truly is the ‘big fish’ here in Aotearoa, and freezing his assets here would be a key step in pressuring Putin and executing the aims outlined by the Minister for Foreign affairs and the Prime Minister in passing the Russia Sanctions Act. We urge the Government to act now.”

PETITION: Freeze russian oligarch assets in Aotearoa

In the name of peace, call on the New Zealand Government to freeze the assets of Russian billionaire oligarchs to pressure Vladimir Putin to call off the Russian Military invasion of Ukraine.

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