Ex-wife of Vladimir Putin's billionaire judo partner has her £8.73 million Westminster apartment repossessed after failing to pay the mortgage
Natalia is the ex-wife of gas pipe baron Arkady Rotenberg, 69, who was hit with personal sanctions by the UK government following the Russian annexation of Crimea in 2014.
He has been battling Natalia in the British divorce courts for the last six years over money and ownership of a £27m mansion in Surrey.
As the fight over the mansion raged, Natalia bought the luxury Westminster property in her own name, taking out a £1.3m loan. However, she has now had the pad repossessed after failing to pay anything towards the debt, which has grown to £1.6m.
Judge Adrian Worthington, handing Natalia's apartment over to lender Certain Bridge Ltd, was told by her mortgage lender's barrister that sanctions faced by Arkady had created a 'turbulent time in the lives' of the former couple. However, it is unclear if the sanctions are to blame for her lack of payment.
In December 2020, Arkady was hit with a package of personal financial sanctions by the UK, due to him having 'financially benefited from Russian decision-makers responsible for the annexation of Crimea or the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.'
During the current invasion, other members of his family were also hit with sanctions, including his brother Boris and son Igor.
One of the world's richest men, Arkady and his UK-based former wife Natalia married in 2005 and divorced in Russia in 2013, having had two children, before beginning a six-year fight in British courts.
Natalia trained in rhythmic gymnastics and graduated from Gromov School of Music Arts, later becoming a ballet teacher and opening her own children's school of arts and Russian ballet, before launching a clothing label after moving to the UK.
Arkady, reportedly a childhood friend of Vladimir Putin, was a judo teacher who trained with Putin several times a week, before progressing to become one of Russia's richest businessmen.