Theresa May to sanction UK-based Russian billionaires linked to Putin; Arsenal, Chelsea owners top list

With agency reports

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is getting set to announce the sanctions her government will impose on Russia after a former spy was poisoned in Salisbury, reports say.

Former double agent for MI6, Sergei Skripal and his daughter were found poisoned after being exposed to an unknown substance outside a shopping complex in Salisbury.

READ: BREAKING: England may pull out of Russia 2018 World Cup

All suspicions point to Russia and calls are growing for Britain to hit Russia with heavy sanctions over alleged state-sponsored murder attempt on British soil.

One of the sanctions being proposed is for London to freeze the assets of UK-based oligarchs named by the US as being close to President Vladimir Putin.

The targets include Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich and Arsenal part-owner Alisher Usmanov.

In January, the US Treasury published a list of Mr Putin’s cronies as part of a sanctions aimed at punishing Russia for interfering in the US election.

The list included 114 senior figures in President Putin’s government and 96 oligarchs worth more than $1billion (£720million) each.

And at least five on the list have strong links to Britain, including Abramovich and Usmanov.

May may announce the sanctions as soon as Monday.

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