Chelsea’s Roman Abramovich & Arsenal’s Alisher Usmanov need to be punished, says Putin critic to the NY Times

The worlds of politics and football have been combined in an editorial printed by the New York Times overnight on Thursday.

Amid the crisis in the Ukraine over the annexation of Crimea by Russia, Alexey Navalny, an outspoken critic of Vladimir Putin who is currently under house arrest, has called on the American and British governments to sanction not only the Russian leader but also his cronies.

Included in the named cronies are Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and Arsenal’s second largest shareholder Alisher Usmanov.

Mr Navalny made the following comments in an article titled “How to Punish Putin”:

Western nations could deliver a serious blow to the luxurious lifestyles enjoyed by the Kremlin’s cronies who shuttle between Russia and the West. This means freezing the oligarchs’ financial assets and seizing their property.

Such sanctions should primarily target Mr. Putin’s inner circle, the Kremlin mafia who pillage the nation’s wealth, including… the oligarchs Roman A. Abramovich [Chelsea’s owner] and Alisher B. Usmanov [Arsenal’s shareholder].

Real sanctions, such as blocking access to their plush London apartments, will show that Mr. Putin’s folly comes with serious costs.

The full editorial in the New York Times can be read here.