EU sanctions Russian businessman Gutseriyev over ties with Belarus

MOSCOW, June 21 (Reuters) - The European Union has included Russian businessman Mikhail Gutseriyev, the largest single foreign investor in Belraus, in its sanctions announced on Monday.

Outraged at the forced landing of a passenger plane in Minsk on May 23 to arrest the dissident journalist, EU has blacklisted transport, defence and air traffic officials as part of coordinated action with the United States, Canada and Britain. read more

Gutseriyev is among the individuals facing sanctions, according to the EU Official Journal. His spokeswoman declined to comment.

Gutseriyev's Safmar company has a stake in Russian oil producer Russneft (RNFT.MM) and it controls consumer electronics retailer M.Video-Eldorado (MVID.MM).

Moscow-traded shares of M.Video-Eldorado and Russneft fell by around 4% and 1% respectively.

The EU said Gutseriyev was a long-standing friend of Belarussian leader Alexander Lukashenko.

It said Gutseriyev owns the Slavkali company, which is building the Nezhinsky potassium chloride mining and processing plant, based on the Starobinsky potash salt deposit near Lyuban, in Belarus.

Lukashenko has promised to rename the town Gutserievsk in his honour.

The Russian businessman helped Belarus with oil supplies in early 2020 when other Russian companies suspended the deliveries over the supply terms dispute.

Reporting by Maria Vasilyeva; Writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; Editing by Alison Williams

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