According to Washington, the Russian president could use his daughters as candidates to hide part of his wealth and thus escape economic sanctions.
They are the new targets of US sanctions. The barrage of measures announced by the United States against Vladimir Putin directly targeted the daughters of the Russian president. Washington decided to freeze their assets and ties to the US financial system.
Vladimir Putin has always been conservative about his private life, revealing little information about his two daughters. In 2020, he said he did not want to share information about his family, due to “security concerns”, explaining that he had grandchildren.
A year ago, during a press conference, he did not name his daughters as such but simply “women”. A few years earlier he had claimed to be “proud of them” and asserted that they were “not involved in any business” or “in politics”.
Two girls in their thirties
The official biography of the Russian president on the Kremlin website provides other information. His first daughter, Maria Vorontsova, was born in 1985 before the family moved to Dresden in East Germany, where Vladimir Putin was sent as a KGB agent. His second daughter, Katerina Tikhonova, was born the following year in this city.
The only photo of the two women appears as little girls with ribbons in their blonde braids. Through some rare observations he has made over the years, Vladimir Putin has revealed that his daughters received their higher education in Russia, speak several European languages and live in their own country.
Endocrinologist and mathematician
According to some Russian media, Maria Vorontsova is an endocrinologist and works for a large medical research company focused on cancer treatments and has ties to the Russian state. It also operates a Russian-funded genetics research program that is “personally supervised by Putin,” according to the US Treasury.
For its part, Russian media described Katarina Tikhonova as a mathematician who heads a science and technology foundation of Russia’s main state university. Washington refers to her as a “technological leader supporting […] Russian defense industry.
The Russian media also identify her as a professional acrobatic rock dancer. She even participated in prestigious international competitions.
Putin’s assets are hidden
If Katharina Tikhonova and Maria Vorontsova are targeted by US sanctions, it is because Washington suspects that Vladimir Putin is using them to get around US sanctions by using them as candidates to hide part of his fortune abroad, the exact value of which is not known by US authorities. .
“We believe a lot of Putin’s assets are hidden among his family members, which is why we target them,” a senior US official said.
In concrete terms, the US Treasury will confiscate everything that it owns in the US, namely its bank accounts and, where applicable, its villas, yachts, or even works of art. Vladimir Putin himself was punished in this way at the beginning of the war in Ukraine.
New European sanctions?
Washington also announced that the same treatment would apply to the wife and daughter of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Maria Lavrova and Ekaterina Vinokurova, as well as to members of the Russian Security Council, including former President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
“The families of these oligarchs will not be allowed to keep their fortunes in the United States or Europe, and they will not be able to keep their hundreds of million dollar yachts or luxury vacation homes as long as children in Ukraine are being killed or forced to leave their homes every day,” Joe Biden asserted. .
The EU could also toughen its sanctions against Vladimir Putin’s entourage. His two daughters are on a new sanctions blacklist being considered by representatives of the 27 countries. Diplomats say the ambassadors will meet again on Thursday in light of an agreement.