U.S. Sanctions against Russia May Hit Concerts by Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake and Elton John

Sunday, April 06, 2014
Boris Rotenberg and Vladimir Putin

President Barack Obama’s attempt to punish Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle might inadvertently affect some major pop stars and music performers.


In response to Russia’s seizing Crimea from Ukraine, Obama announced the U.S. government would impose sanctions on 27 close friends and associates of Putin. The list included billionaires Gennady Timchenko and brothers Arkady and Boris Rotenberg. Timchenko co-founded Gunvor, a Russian oil trading company, while the Rotenbergs, childhood friends of Putin, are co-owners of SMP Bank.


The three men jointly own a concert venue, Hartwall Areena, in Helsinki, Finland, which is supposed to host several concerts featuring Miley Cyrus, Justin Timberlake, Robbie Williams, Peter Gabriel, Aerosmith, Elton John and Nine Inch Nails. But those events may have to be canceled or moved to another location.


Under the Obama administration’s sanctions, no American citizen or business can provide Timchenko or the Rotenbergs with “economic resources.” Going through with the concerts would mean putting money in the pockets of these friends of Putin’s, and get the artists as well as their promoter, Live Nation, in trouble with the federal government.


BBC News says the only way the shows could go on would be if Live Nation applied to the Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control for permission to hold the concerts and be exempt from the sanctions. However, there is no evidence that any shows have been canceled.

-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley


To Learn More:

Miley Cyrus Concert May be Hit by US Sanctions (BBC News)

Latest Crimea Casualty: Miley Cyrus? (by Leonid Bershidsky, Bloomberg)

Ukraine Crisis: Russian Officials Targeted by Sanctions (BBC News)

Congress Less Popular than Toenail Fungus and Zombies, but more Popular than Miley Cyrus and Ebola Virus (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)


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