Liz Truss suggests Chelsea pals Roman Abramovich and Putin will NEVER be welcome in the UK

Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich may never be able to return to the UK after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Liz Truss suggested today.

The foreign minister has warned the oligarchs linked to Vladimir Putin “that it will be necessary to account” for their support for his despotic regime.

Abramovich struggles to save his crumbling business empire and personal belongings after being hit by UK and EU sanctions.

His UK assets, including current European and World champions, have been frozen and he is struggling to travel as more countries ban him from arriving.

Ms Truss warned this morning there was no guarantee sanctioned oligarchs would be free to return to the UK after the end of Russia’s war of aggression in Ukraine.

The Foreign Secretary also said she did not believe the conflict was “near the end”, in comments made on Sky News.

Telling her that Mr Abramovich could return once the Russian troops have withdrawn, Ms Truss said: ‘No, I didn’t say that.’

“Because I say that even if the war were to end – and I fear we are not near the end, at this point – enormous devastation has been caused, lives have been lost because of this war.

“And all the people who supported Putin, including Abramovich, will have to be taken into account.”

Abramovich struggles to save his crumbling business empire and personal belongings after being hit by UK and EU sanctions.

Foreign Minister warned oligarchs linked to Vladimir Putin

The foreign minister has warned the oligarchs linked to Vladimir Putin “that it will be necessary to account” for their support for his despotic regime.

How Roman Abramovich’s steel company is accused of supplying materials for Russian tanks wreaking death and destruction in Ukraine

Roman Abramovich “now exercises effective control” over Evraz, a steelmaker who “potentially supplies steel” to Russian tanks, according to the British government. His stake is worth £420m.

He transferred his large stake in a Russian steel company eight days before Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine.

The owner of Chelsea transferred his shares in Evraz, the Russian steel giant, directly from an offshore company on February 16, just over a week before Vladimir Putin ordered the invasion of the Ukraine.

Analysts said the transfer of the 28.64% stake, from Greenleas International Holdings Ltd, registered in the Virgin Islands, could make it less vulnerable to sanctions following the invasion. It could also make it easier to sell the stake. Share values ​​have plummeted since Putin’s forces attacked Ukraine.

Grzegorz Kuczynski, director of the Eurasia program at the Warsaw Institute, told Sportsmail: “There was a risk that this offshore company could be subject to sanctions.”

Mr Kuczynski also said the steel company’s material was used to make tanks and was an important part of Russia’s military campaign in Ukraine.

He said: “The steel from Evraz is used to build tanks, among other things. The company is important for the Russian arms industry, in this sense. It is important for Russia’s war plans, including with regard to Ukraine.

But a spokesman for Abramovich insisted the Russian-made Evraz steel was not used for military purposes. The spokesman said steel produced in Russia was only used for “rail and construction”.

She said the UK was working with allies ‘inside the G7 and beyond’ to ensure the oligarchs have ‘nowhere it is legitimate for them to live their way of life, to have their yachts or to have their planes”.

Last night it was reported that ownership of an investment company linked to Mr Abramovich had passed to one of the 55-year-old billionaire’s closest allies on the day Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Wall Street Journal said Norma Investments Ltd – which has been linked to Abramovich in the past in financial filings in the US and UK – was transferred on February 24 to a man described by Forbes as the “right hand man” of Abramovich.

David Davidovich, 59, is worth an estimated $1.6bn (£1.2bn) himself.

A source close to Davidovich, who was pictured walking with Abramovich in Scotland in 2015, confirmed to the Journal that he took control of Norma, but denied that Abramovich was the ultimate owner.

Davidovich’s investment in Norma “is part of his overall investments and interest in the startup industry,” the person said.

Norma’s interests include investments in US and UK based renewable energy companies.

He also helped fund cancer research, as well as testing of an anti-aging drug by U.S. biotech firm Cleveland BioLabs Inc, according to the WSJ.

Britain hit another 350 Russians with sanctions yesterday as it stepped up the economic fight against Vladimir Putin – with new taxes on vodka.

Ministers said the new wave of sanctions meant more than 1,000 Russian businesses and businesses had been prevented from earning money or visiting the UK.

The new wave of around 370 today includes more than 50 oligarchs and their families, as well as politicians including puppet Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and former President Dmitry Medvedev.

People have been added to the list including Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven, the men behind the company that owns Holland & Barrett and who resigned from its advisory board after facing international sanctions.

A notorious internet ‘troll farm’, the Internet Research Agency, was also sanctioned.

This came after the Department of International Trade imposed huge new punitive import taxes on luxury goods and Russian economic staples to increase pressure on Moscow’s war machine.

Sales of liquor, furs, whitefish and a host of other products will be hit by a 35% increase in levies, the Department for International Trade has revealed.

The tax will also apply to sales of metals, including iron, steel, copper and silver, as well as grain, machinery and machinery.

At the same time, the sale of luxury items to Russia must be blocked, ending sales of items such as luxury vehicles like Rolls-Royces, designer clothes and art.

G7 governments have said they will impose punitive tariffs on trade to further insulate Moscow from the global economy.

The group of wealthy nations said it would strip Russia of its “most favored nation” status under World Trade Organization (WTO) rules.

David C. Barham