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Putin sanctions to hit oligarch in Scotland

Vladimir Lisin owns the vast Aberuchill Castle estate in Perthshire. Picture: Robert Perry

Vladimir Lisin owns the vast Aberuchill Castle estate in Perthshire. Picture: Robert Perry

HE IS one of Scotland’s richest landowners, with a penchant for cigars and shooting grouse at his huge Perthshire ­estate.

But steel magnate Vladimir Lisin is among a number of high-profile Russian oligarchs who have seen billions of pounds wiped off their wealth since the outbreak of hostilities in Ukraine.

Lisin, 58, who owns the vast Aberuchill Castle estate in Comrie, near Crieff, has seen his net worth fall by 18 per cent – nearly $2 billion (£1.18bn) – since the start of the year, according to analysts.

Russia’s wealthiest are braced for sanctions designed to hit them in the pocket after Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond outlined plans to target President Vladimir Putin’s “cronies” in the wake of the Malaysia Airlines disaster.

Lisin, the chairman and largest shareholder of Novolipetsk Steel, bought his Scottish estate for nearly £7 million in 2005 – paying £800,000 above the asking price for the 3,300-acre property.

Ranked among the world’s 100 wealthiest people, he also owns Freight One, which ­controls 20 per cent of Russia’s rail cars, and is worth nearly $12bn (£7bn).

Earlier this week, the European Union discussed options to curb Russian access to capital markets, arms and energy technology in response to the downing of a Malaysian ­airliner in an area of eastern Ukraine held by Moscow-backed separatists on 17 July.

The UK government has been at the forefront of calls for increased sanctions, pushing for an EU ban on future sales of military equipment to Moscow. The government has also signalled that any Russians living in the UK could be subject to sanctions if they are shown to be linked to Putin.

A gun enthusiast who heads the Russian Shooting Union and is a vice-president of the Russian Olympic Committee, Lisin is married with three children, and worked as a mechanic in a coal mine before getting a job as a steelworker.

Last night, Keir Giles of Chatham House said: “Russia’s richest men may already be feeling the difference because of the Ukraine crisis. This is both as a result of the effect on Moscow share prices, and the slow introduction of sanctions targeting specific individuals.

“Individual sanctions ­already put in place by the US and Canada have followed the principle that the organisational chart of the Russian government isn’t what’s ­relevant.

“President Putin’s intimate circle of billionaires and ­securocrats, and those who have been close to him since before his rise to power, are considered far more influential on Putin himself.”

 

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