Russian Gas Tycoon Takes ‘Honor’ in US Sanctions

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Russian Gas Tycoon Takes 'Honor' in US Sanctions Russian billionaire Gennady Timchenko, affected by US sanctions over alleged relations with the government that recently annexed Crimea, said that being one of the few individuals to be targeted by Washington was a badge of honor.

However, Timchenko, who last month sold his interests in Gunvor, an oil trading firm, acknowledged that the economic measures had a slight impact on his business interest as some European banks were unwilling to transact business with him.

“The fact that I was included in the list was a little surprising maybe, but it was quite an honor for me,” Timchenko said while referring to the list of Russian individuals targeted by the US sanctions.

Some (problems) arise because some banks, realizing who they are dealing with, are starting to create certain difficulties… They are frightened,” he added.

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The billionaire gas trader said that the problems his business face due to the sanctions are generally not that serious because he had seen everything coming and took care of it by transferring assets into Russian bank accounts.

As Reuters report, the trader’s response is a reflection of the defiant attitude adopted at least publicly by Russian officials and business icons in reaction to the US and European sanctions against them.

Timchenko was the most high profile figure to be targeted by the Western sanctions when Russia marched into Ukraine and annexed Crimea following the removal from power of a pro-Russian president by movements that favor closer links with the West.

According to PRNewswire, the tycoon told a Russian TV station that no sanctions had been imposed on his businesses from Europe, though.

He said he was under no obligation to sell his less than 50% stake in Gunvor, but did it anyway to avoid exposing the company to “problems.”

The billionaire added that they were considering using the euro and even ruble to settle export transactions. To register for a free 2-week subscription to ForexMinute Premium Plan, visit www.forexminute.com/newsletter.

To contact the reporter of this story; Yashu Gola at yashu@forexminute.com