Europe, US impose sanctions on Russian car racing team

Moscow, April 15: The Russian car racing team is unable to participate in international competitions following the freeze in Europe and the US of bank accounts of SMP Car Sport and Racing, the non-government organisation said Monday.

The SMP Car Sports and Racing represents Russia in the Le Mans races (ELMS) and the World Endurance Championships (WEC) since 2013, Xinhua reported.

The most recent spreading of sanctions that the European Union and the US have imposed on a number of Russian businessmen “beyond the limits of political and economic field is unacceptable”, the organisation’s sports director Sergei Zlobin said on the SMP’s official website.

The organisation has nothing to do with the events in Ukraine and sets no political or economic goals, he added.

“Use of sport as a mean of political blackmailing never leads to efficient solution of the political issues and causes disappointment and surprise. Right to go in for sport is an undeniable right of any person in line with the Olympics Charter,” the SMP said.

It noted that the Western sanctions would only harm fans over the world and destroy all positive changes achieved in Russia-Europe sports cooperation.

SMP’s president Boris Rotenberg and his brother Arkady co-own a number of major Russian government’s contractor companies, as well as energy and construction market assets. The US imposed sanctions on the brothers March 20. They were also blacklisted by the EU.

SMP was established in 2013 by Boris Rotenberg’s initiative to support Russian racers.

IANS