National | Russia

Russian oligarch sidesteps New Zealand's sanctions list

Helena Bay Lodge owner Alexander Abramov is not named on New Zealand's first Russian sanctions list.

Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta this morning released a sanctions list, which has 364 political and military targets. There is a travel ban list as well as 13 individuals and 19 entities on the target sanctions list. This includes the prohibition of maritime vessels, aircraft plus asset freezes.

The government has declined to say why Abramov in not on the list though it has said it will  be adding further individuals and entities to the list later.

Abramov, who has enormous steel interests, is worth US$6 billion according to Forbes and owns a superyacht, Titan. He also owns Targa Capital, which has completed 11 housing projects, mostly in Auckland.

At Helena Bay, he is a neighbour of Mōkau Mara .

Even though the hapū there has a good relationship with the oligarch after his financial support and donation of equipment after the Mōkau Marae's wharenui burned down in 2013 it still supports the government’s stance on sanctions against Russia.

Mahuta said the world was united against Russian president Vladimir Putin's actions in Ukraine, "and only one week after passing historic legislation, we are joining the international community in applying our first targeted sanctions”.

“This is just the start, with more sanctions coming over the next few weeks.”

“These sanctions send a clear message to Russia about New Zealand’s opposition to its invasion of Ukraine. It is consistent with and reinforces responses from the international community including our closest partners, and will place pressure on influential individuals,” said Mahuta.