Sanctioned Russian mogul Mikhail Fridman expressed his regret for investing in the UK after his assets were frozen and he was forced to leave the country, according to a report by Bloomberg. Fridman stated that he had no choice but to leave and felt “squeezed out” of the UK. He also described investing in Britain as a “colossal mistake.”
In September, Fridman left London for Israel due to the difficulties he faced living under sanctions. British authorities refused to allow him to pay for the upkeep of his London mansion and the wages of his staff. Shortly after the Hamas terrorist attack on October 7, which sparked a new wave of violence in Israel, Fridman flew to Moscow.
Fridman’s business partner, Petr Aven, who is currently considering a return to Russia from Latvia where authorities are threatening to revoke his citizenship, also expressed regret for investing in the UK. During an interrogation at a London airport in July 2022, Aven stated that investing billions in the UK was a “mistake.”
Fridman and Aven, along with their partners German Khan and Alexey Kuzmichev, have been subjected to sanctions by the EU. The sanctions were imposed shortly after Moscow’s military operation in Ukraine began. In March 2022, the UK blacklisted all four individuals, and they have since been challenging the decisions in court.
The freezing of Fridman’s assets continues despite the dropping of a criminal probe into his alleged sanctions evasion. This has further added to his frustration and regret over investing in the UK.
The experiences of Fridman and Aven highlight the challenges faced by wealthy individuals and businesses operating under sanctions. The restrictions placed on them by authorities can impact their ability to conduct their business and manage their assets, often leading to legal battles and financial difficulties.
It remains to be seen how Fridman’s and Aven’s situations will develop and if they will be able to overcome the obstacles they are facing. However, their stories serve as a reminder of the complexities and consequences of economic sanctions on individuals and businesses involved in international affairs.
As the criminal probe may be dropped, Fridman’s focus now appears to be on rebuilding his business interests and reputation in a more favorable environment. The decision to invest in the UK may serve as a lesson for other high-net-worth individuals, prompting them to carefully consider the potential risks and consequences of their investments in countries subject to political and economic uncertainties.
In conclusion, the remarks made by Mikhail Fridman and Petr Aven regarding their regret for investing in the UK shed light on the challenges faced by individuals and businesses operating under sanctions. Their experiences serve as a cautionary tale for others considering similar investments, highlighting the potential risks and difficulties associated with finance and international relations.