Nikita Mazepin and mega-rich father Dmitry are among 14 new high-profile Russians targeted by the European Union for sanctions related to Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Putin and his allies have been targeted by such sanctions, with the aim of forcing those responsible for the war to suffer financially.
The latest round of sanctions has targeted Mazepin Snr, after it emerged he met with the Russian president on February 24 – just hours after Putin ordered his invasion.
“Mazepin, along with other 36 business people, met with President Vladimir Putin and other members of the Russian government to discuss the impact of the course of action in the wake of Western sanctions,” the EU wrote.
“The fact that he was invited to attend this meeting shows that he is a member of the closest circle of Vladimir Putin and that he is supporting or implementing actions or policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as stability and security in Ukraine.”
His son Nikita has also been targeted by the EU, because his racing career has benefited from his father’s cash.
The document added: “Nikita Mazepin is the son of Dmitry Arkadievich Mazepin, General Director of JSC UCC Uralchem.
“As Uralchem sponsors Haas F1 Team, Dmitry Mazepin is the major sponsor of his son’s activities at Haas F1 Team.
“He is a natural person associated with a leading businessperson (his father) involved in economic sectors providing a substantial source of revenue to the Government of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for the annexation of Crimea and the destabilisation of Ukraine.”
Mazepin has been sacked by Haas after having cut ties with his father’s firm, but that does not appear to have spared him from having been personally sanctioned.
It comes after the 23-year-old spoke at a self-organised press conference on Wednesday morning, during which he deliberately avoided multiple opportunities to condemn the Russian invasion.
“I have friends and relatives that have by force of fate found themselves on both sides of the conflict,” he said, before adding: “I do not wish to make any public statements about the conflict beyond what I just said.”
Mazepin went on to claim that he had been given no warning that he was going to be sacked by Haas, and that the lives of Russian sportspeople are being “destroyed” by sanctions.
“I learnt about the firing the same time as it had been released to the press,” he added. “And, I’d like to think I’m a young man at 23, and I was not ready for it.
“I did not receive any hint, or any support to say, ‘You know, this is the decision we’ve taken, it’s going to go live in 15 minutes, just be ready for it’.
“Obviously I had a lot of messages from people, and I just learnt at the same time as you guys did. I appreciated the small number of drivers who expressed their support for me. Sergio [Pérez], Valtteri [Bottas], Charles [Leclerc] and George [Russell] all contacted me.
“They know how important the situation is, and they showed their support after I lost the opportunity to compete. The messages were nothing political but just on a personal level – to keep my head up because athletes have been broken and lives have been destroyed after a decision like that.”