Arkady Volozh (Yandex Founder) Sanctioned By EU & Plans To Appeal

Arkady Volozh , CEO of the Yandex group of companies, was included in the EU sanctions list. The corresponding document was published in the official journal of the EU.

The justification for the sanctions states that Yandex’s shareholders include state-owned banks – Sberbank and VTB.

Also in 2019, Yandex agreed to a restructuring that resulted in the transfer of the “golden share” to the Public Interest Fund, which was set up to “protect the interests of the Russian Federation.”

The document reads:

Through the Public Interest Fund, the government of the Russian Federation can veto a certain list of issues, such as the sale of significant intellectual property and the sale or transfer of personal data of Russian users to foreign companies, both of which are considered to affect Russia’s “national interests.

Yandex is also responsible for promoting state media in search results, and for downgrading and removing content critical of the Kremlin. Volozh is a leading businessman working in sectors of the economy that provide a significant source of income for the Russian government. As the founder and CEO of Yandex, he provides material or financial support to the government of the Russian Federation and therefore is responsible for its current policy.

The Sanctions Lists & History

In total, over 60 individuals and 18 organizations from Russia fell under the restrictions.

In early 2018, Arkady Volozh was included in the so-called “Kremlin list” published by the US Treasury. This list was not sanctioned, Volozh’s inclusion in it meant that he could be subject to sanctions in the future.

Earlier, in March, the European Union imposed personal sanctions against Tigran Khudaverdyan, due to the work of Yandex.News and his participation in a meeting with Putin.

The Appeal

Volozh plans to challenge the imposition of sanctions by the EU, as he considers them unreasonable. This was reported in a statement by the Board of Directors of Yandex.

The statement also said that the company’s management was extremely disappointed to learn that founder and CEO Arkady Volozh was under EU sanctions.

We consider this decision completely unfair and based on an inaccurate understanding of Arcadia and what Yandex is. Instead of being sanctioned, Arkady deserves credit for building from the ground up one of the most modern and progressive companies in Russia and one of the most innovative companies in Europe – a true pioneer in search, navigation and mapping, as well as in the creation of unmanned vehicles. And these are just some of the areas where Yandex has been successful.

The Yandex board will provide “every possible support for the company and Arkady” as he plans to appeal the imposition of unreasonable sanctions against him.


Dan Taylor
Dan Taylor is an experienced SEO consultant and has worked with brands and companies on optimizing for Russia (and Yandex) for a number of years. Winner of the inaugural 2018 TechSEO Boost competition, webmaster at and Sloth.Cloud, and founder of