A German court has prohibited the U.S. edition of Forbes magazine from asserting that Russian-Uzbek billionaire Alisher Usmanov maintains close connections with President Vladimir Putin.
Forbes estimates Usmanov’s net worth at $14.4 billion.
Forbes, relying on an anonymous expert, previously claimed in February 2022 that Usmanov had “repeatedly fronted for Putin and solved his business problems.”
Subsequently, the European Council referenced the Forbes article when imposing sanctions on Usmanov in February 2022, including a travel ban and asset freeze.
In response to the allegations, Usmanov filed a lawsuit against Forbes in Hamburg’s District Court in February 2023.
Court documents revealed that Forbes could not provide evidence of Usmanov’s business dealings on behalf of Putin and declined to disclose the identity of the expert cited in its article.
The Hamburg District Court ruled that Forbes is no longer allowed to propagate the contested claims.
Usmanov’s lawyer, Joachim Nikolaus Steinhofel, criticized the EU sanctions, calling them a “complete institutional failure” and accusing the EU council of justifying sanctions with “fake news.” Steinhofel expressed these views on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday.
The Moscow Times could not independently verify RBC’s report. As of Tuesday evening, the excerpt from the Forbes article regarding Usmanov’s ties with Putin, titled “Meet Putin’s Oligarchs Most Likely to Get Slapped With Sanctions by Biden Over Ukraine,” remained accessible.