Apr 16, 2023

By Jeremy Logan

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A Russian billionaire and his former pop star wife are claiming that the Canadian government has unfairly sanctioned them along with other Russian oligarchs and elites.

Andrey and Aleksandra Melnichenko say they have been tainted as “close associates” of the Russian regime and are now suing the government to have their names removed from the sanctions list.

In a set of applications submitted to the Federal Court of Canada last month, the Melnichenkos maintain they have no connections to the Russian government, having resided in Switzerland for over ten years.

They contend that the foreign minister of Canada inappropriately grouped them with Russian officials and oligarchs who are thought to be supporting Vladimir Putin’s war in Ukraine.

Andrey Melnichenko argues that it is incorrect to refer to him as an oligarch because he built his money on his own in the banking, fertilizer, and coal sectors without assistance from connections to either Vladimir Putin or the late Russian president Boris Yeltsin.

According to Global Affairs Canada, the sanctions against Russia are in retaliation for the nation’s unlawful invasion of Ukraine, and those who are subject to the sanctions are free to request that their names be taken off the list by submitting an application to the Minister of Foreign Affairs.

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