Yandex co-founder Arkady Volozh to be removed from EU Russian sanctions list, sources say

By Thomson Reuters Feb 21, 2024 | 9:47 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU countries have agreed to remove Arkady Volozh, co-founder of Russian internet giant Yandex, from their list of sanctioned entities and individuals relating to Russia’s war in Ukraine, three sources familiar with the matter said.

Volozh is one of three individuals who will be removed after March 15 when the sanctions regime is renewed. The EU’s regime needs to be discussed and renewed every six months.

Volozh did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In August last year, Volozh called Russia’s war in Ukraine “barbaric” after staying silent following the initial invasion on Feb. 24, 2022.

Further, Volozh is on track to cut ties with Yandex’s Russian business, after a consortium of investors agreed to buy the Russian assets of Dutch holding company Yandex NV in early February.

Volozh holds an 8.5% economic interest in Yandex NV through a family trust although no voting rights in the Nasdaq-listed company.

Two people familiar with the matter told Reuters earlier this month that legal arguments in court against Volozh were easing given the proposed full divestment.

(Reporting by Julia Payne and Jan Strupczewski, additional reporting by Alexander Marrow and Anne Kauranen; Editing by Kirsten Donovan)