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E.U. Removes Russian Tech Tycoon From Sanctions List

WorldE.U. Removes Russian Tech Tycoon From Sanctions List

The European Union has lifted sanctions against a Russian technology tycoon, in a rare break from a policy of punishing the country’s elites for the invasion of Ukraine.

Arkady Volozh, who co-founded Russia’s largest tech company, Yandex, was taken off the list of sanctioned individuals after condemning the invasion of Ukraine and taking public steps to sever ties to Russia. The decision was announced in a document published by the European Council on Wednesday.

Mr. Volozh is one the most prominent Russian figures to be cleared of sanctions by a major Western power since the start of the war. The move was welcomed by some members of the Russian opposition, who have called on the West to use incentives as well as penalties to exert pressure on the Kremlin.

“There’s finally some logic in the West’s actions,” Abbas Gallyamov, a former Kremlin speechwriter turned political consultant, wrote on the Telegram messaging app. “If you come out against” the war, he added, “then sanctions are lifted.”

The European Union placed Mr. Volozh and one of his deputies on the sanctions list in the early weeks of the war for promoting Kremlin propaganda on Yandex’s news aggregation service. Yandex, which is commonly known as Russia’s Google, said it had no choice but to follow Russia’s strict censorship laws. It sold the news service soon after.

Mr. Volozh, who is based in Israel, resigned from Yandex after being sanctioned. He had also stopped traveling to Russia, and last year issued a forceful condemnation of the war.


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