The richest Russian oligarch, who supplied metal to Russian army, avoided sanctions

The Times, one of the prominent British newspapers, published an investigation that structures of Vladimir Lisin, Russia’s richest man who owns luxury real estate in Great Britain, supplied steel to companies that produce nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles. 

No British, European, or American sanctions have yet been imposed against the chairman of the board of directors of NLMK. “Daughters” of NLMK continue to work in Europe and the USA.

Photo: The Times

Who is Vladimir Lisin?

Vladimir Lisin, whose fortune Forbes estimates at around £21bn, and his family own an £11m London townhouse, a £7m Scottish castle, and two luxury villas on the French Riviera.

The Scottish estate of Lisina received £700,000 of UK taxpayers’ money in agricultural subsidies. Until last year, Lisin was the president of the European shooting confederation. Australia is the only country that has imposed sanctions on him.

The Times, after analyzing the Russian government procurement website, found that after the annexation of Crimea in 2014, NLMK continued to supply steel for the production of electrical steel to at least eight Russian companies that manufacture air defense systems and ballistic missiles, in particular for nuclear weapons. 

Data on such deliveries are available until 2019

Last week, several public organizations sent a call to the British Foreign Ministry to introduce sanctions against Lisin and materials proving the need for this, the newspaper writes. The department did not answer The Times whether there is an investigation into Lisin.

Adviser to the head of the office of the President of Ukraine, Vladyslav Vlasyuk, also called to introduce restrictions against the billionaire in an interview with the publication. According to him, the enterprises owned by Lisin participate in producing weapons used in the war in Ukraine.

Steel supplies to the Russian army

The press service of NLMK reported that the steel deliveries to Russian military-industrial complex companies were “insignificant.” The company added that over ten years, it sold $1.6 million worth of steel suitable for civilian use to defense companies. 

NLMK has never supplied products for military purposes to Russian defense enterprises; the supplies concerned only rolled steel for civilian purposes, the company specified. The company also said it is trying to reduce interactions with the Russian authorities, and sales to Kremlin-controlled companies account for less than 1% of the group’s revenue.

Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) arms expert Siddharth Kaushal told The Times that strip steel could be used to make rocket engines.

In September, the Ukrainian Radio Svoboda wrote about the trade of Lysin’s companies with Russian defense enterprises. In particular, NLMK supplied steel to the Russian Federal Nuclear Center, which is engaged in developing and testing nuclear and thermonuclear munitions, the publication reported.

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