Fridman maintains that Russian oligarchs have no influence over Putin

17 March, 03:46 PM
Mikhail Fridman (Photo:Igor Emmerich)

Mikhail Fridman (Photo:Igor Emmerich)

Mikhail Fridman’s last functioning credit card was blocked in the wake of the latest wave of UK and EU sanctions against Russian oligarchs, Fridman said in an interview with business new outlet Bloomberg Businessweek on March 17. He claims that Russian business elites hold no sway over Russia’s President Vladimir Putin.

As long as his accounts remain frozen, Fridman has to petition the UK government for a monthly allowance of GBP 2,500 ($3,300).

According to Fridman, he has no real estate besides a house in London, a home in Moscow, and his parents’ flat in Latvia. The businessman said he doesn’t own yachts or jets, and that all his credit cards had stopped working by March 15.

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Despite his Israeli citizenship, Fridman can’t move to the country, since he can’t buy property there due to Western sanctions.

“I’m a captive here (in the UK),” Fridman gripes in the interview.

He is currently trying to figure out how to pay for such “mundane” things as a cleaning lady.

`However, Bloomberg made clear that while being irritated, Fridman draws no comparison between his predicament and the suffering of the Ukrainian people.

“My problems are nothing compared to theirs, really,” the businessman said.

It’s futile to expect that sanctions will prompt people like Fridman and his peers to pressure Putin to end war, the Russian oligarch claims.

“If EU leaders think that because of the sanctions I can come to Putin and tell him to stop the war, and that he would heed my words – then we’re all in big trouble,” Fridman said.

“It means that those in charge have no idea how Russia works.”

Prior to Russia’s war in Ukraine, Bloomberg estimated Fridman’s net worth to be around $14 billion, which is nominally at $10 billion now. The businessman has no access to these assets at the moment.

Fridman and his business partner and co-owner of Russian Alfa-Bank, Petr Aven, have decided to sell their shares of Alfa-Bank Ukraine, after they were both sanctioned by the EU.

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