EU lifts sanctions on Yandex co-founder Arkady Volozh

The European Union has lifted sanctions against Yandex co-founder Arkady Volozh, according to a March 12 document published in the EU’s official journal. The former head of Yandex was among three people removed from the sanctions list this week.

  • In addition, the EU also lifted sanctions against Sergei Mndoyants, former vice-president of the russian business conglomerate AFK Sistema, as well as Jozef Hambalek, who heads the European branch of the pro-kremlin Night Wolves motorcycle club. The document does not specify the reasons for such a decision.
  • Nine more people were also removed from the sanctions list due to their deaths, including Dmytro Utkin, the commander of Wagner PMK, who died together with Yevgeny Prigozhin during a plane crash in August 2023. At the same time, Prigozhin himself remains under sanctions.
  • The decision to exclude these persons from the list comes into effect the day after its publication in the EU Journal.

What preceded this?

Arkady Volozh, was initially included on the EU sanctions list in June 2023. Soon after that, he left management positions at Yandex and the group’s international subsidiaries. 

In August 2023, for the first time since the beginning of the full-scale war, Volozh spoke out against russia’s actions in Ukraine, calling the full-scale invasion “barbaric.” Later, it became known that the businessman asked the European Union to remove sanctions from him.

Yandex is currently in the process of selling the russian part of the company. It is expected that a consortium of russian investors will gain control over the russian asset, and Arkady Volozh and foreign shareholders will share it in the Dutch company.