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Europe lifts sanctions on Yandex cofounder Arkady Volozh

13:18, Wednesday, 13 March, 2024
Europe lifts sanctions on Yandex cofounder Arkady Volozh

Arkady Volozh, the billionaire cofounder of Russia's biggest internet company, was removed from the EU sanctions list today, clearing the way for his return to the world of international tech.

On Tuesday a spokesperson for the European Council confirmed to WIRED that the Yandex cofounder was among three people whose sanctions were lifted this week.
     Volozh, 60, was initially included on the EU sanctions list in June 2023, following Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. “Volozh is a leading businessperson involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russian Federation,” the bloc said last year to justify its decision. “As founder and CEO of Yandex, he is supporting, materially or financially, the Government of the Russian Federation.” In response, Volozh stepped down from his position as Yandex CEO, calling the sanctions “misguided.”
     Three months later, Volozh, who has been living in Israel since 2014, became one of the few prolific Russian businessmen to speak out against the Kremlin’s actions in Ukraine, describing the war as “barbaric.” “I am horrified about the fate of people in Ukraine—many of them my personal friends and relatives—whose houses are being bombed every day,” he said in a statement in August.

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