EU sanctions Putin’s alleged girlfriend Alina Kabaeva – POLITICO

The EU imposed sanctions on Alina Kabaeva, a former Olympic gymnast who is believed to have a close personal relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, in its latest punitive package over the war in Ukraine.

Kabaeva will not be able to travel to the EU and all assets she has in the bloc will be frozen under the package adopted on Friday and coming into force later in the day with publication in the Official Journal of the EU.

Kabaeva was sanctioned by the UK last month. It was reported that she was in a relationship with Putin, although the Russian president denied it.

“Alina Kabaeva is the chairman of the board of the National Media Group (NMG), a holding company that has significant stakes in almost all major Russian federal media outlets that reproduce Russian government propaganda. She is a former Russian gymnast and a former member of the State Duma. She is closely associated with President Vladimir Putin,” the official EU text reads.

“It is therefore responsible for supporting actions and policies that undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine. In addition, it is associated with a person listed as responsible and actively supporting actions undermining the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine.”

The sixth round of EU sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine was presented by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in early May, but approval has been delayed for weeks, mainly due to Hungarian concerns about the oil embargo which was the centerpiece of the package. .

Even after EU leaders agreed to a deal that will allow Budapest to continue importing Russian oil via pipeline, Hungary threw another blow by demanding that Patriarch Kirill, head of the Orthodox Church Russian, be removed from the sanctions list.

Several EU diplomats were frustrated by Hungary’s last-minute decision but, eager to finally get the package approved, they acceded to Budapest’s request.

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