On the heels of EU sanctions, Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev quits RussNeft directors’ board

Russian billionaire Mikhail Gutseriev has decided to leave the board of directors of the oil company RussNeft — one of his main assets. Gutseriev founded RussNeft in 2002 and remains a major shareholder.

According to a company press release, Gutseriev informed RussNeft of his decision on June 24. This comes just days after the European Union imposed sanctions on the billionaire over his ties to Belarus. 

In its justification, the EU described Gutseriev as “a long-time friend” of dictator Alexander Lukashenko, adding that the billionaire has “accumulated significant wealth and influence among the political elite in Belarus” thanks to this association.

In total, the package of EU sanctions imposed on June 21 targeted 78 Belarusian individuals and eight entities in response to the forced landing of a Ryanair plane in Minsk on May 23. The EU announced further sections on June 24, targeting the Belarusian economy. 

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