The United States has expanded sanctions against Russia by adding 17 people to the list, including Yandex’s corporate development adviser and former head of the Accounts Chamber Alexei Kudrin, the Finance Ministry’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said.
Also under the restrictions were government officials: first deputy head of the Ministry of Economic Development Ilya Torosov, State Secretary of the same department Alexei Khersontsev, first deputy head of the Ministry of Finance Leonid Gornin and first deputy head of the Ministry of Industry and Trade Vasily Osmakov. In addition, two deputy heads of the Ministry of Energy Pavel Sorokin and Pavel Snikkars were blacklisted.
Also under sanctions are the first deputy director of the Federal Security Service, Sergey Korolev, the deputy governor of Smolensk region, Vasily Anokhin, and the general director of Kalashnikov Concern, Vladimir Lepin.
Kudrin tendered his resignation as head of the Audit Chamber to Vladimir Putin on November 29, noting that he had spent a total of about 25 years in the public sector and now “would like to focus on big projects” that involve the development of private initiatives “but also have a significant effect on people”.
On December 5, Kudrin officially accepted Yandex’s offer to become an advisor on corporate development. Prior to that, media reported for months that the official was preparing to make the transition to help the company divest the business. It was speculated that Kudrin could receive 5% in Yandex for his role as a “supercap” from the state – an experienced politician trusted by Putin.
“Kudrin guarantees to the Kremlin that Yandex and its technologies will not leak abroad, and to Yandex that the company will not turn into another Rostec or Rostelecom”, one of the interlocutors told The Bell.
Bloomberg wrote that Arkadii Volozh, the co-founder of Yandex, who had fallen under EU sanctions, asked Kudrin to help coordinate the division of assets. Volozh decided to sacrifice the Russian business and focus on the international direction.