Did Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake run afoul of U.S. sanctions on Russia?

Several U.S. stars are scheduled for performances at Hartwall Arena, owned by sanctioned Russian businessmen

Miley Cyrus photo courtesy of Wikipedia

She came in like a wrecking ball... and violated U.S. sanctions on Russia?

Miley Cyrus, as well as other U.S. artists such as Justin Timberlake, may be in hot water due to scheduled concerts at one particular venue in Finland. Helsinki’s Hartwall Arena is owned by a Finnish holding company that is controlled by three Russians who were barred from trade with the United States.

The May and June concerts were booked by U.S.-based promoter and ticketing agency Live Nation Entertainment. However, according to lawyers who spoke with the Financial Times, U.S.-based businesses such as Live Nation are barred from doing business with Hartwall Arena without first receiving explicit permission from the U.S. Treasury.

“If [Live Nation] still has to pay money for the use of the venue that could be a problem,” said Anthony Woolich, a partner at London law firm Holman Fenwick Willan, to the Financial Times. Woolich said a major point of contention will be whether any financial transaction took place before the sanctions were handed down in late March.

In a statement, Live Nation said, “We are currently reviewing our portfolio and we will work to ensure the US sanctions against the identified Russians are upheld.”

Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg are among the 27 Russians who have been sanctioned by U.S. officials. Timchenko, who owns 50 percent of Hartwall-controlling Arena Events OY, is the co-founder of oil trader Gunvor.

 Roman Rotenberg, the son of Boris Rotenberg who handles the company’s Finnish accounts, spoke out against the controversy. “It’s business as usual,” he said to the Financial Times. “Why should the Finnish people suffer from US sanctions? The concerts are sold out.”

However, the ultimate decision could come down to the White House. About two weeks into the sanctions, the U.S. government will need to clarify exactly which transactions cannot be performed with these named Russians. And if she cannot perform in Finland, then perhaps Miley will have no choice but to Party in the U.S.A.

 

 But this isn’t even the weirdest legal news recently. Check out 5 of the strangest lawsuits making headlines.

Assistant Editor

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Zach Warren

Zach Warren is Assistant Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, where he oversees online content submissions and administers InsideCounsel's enewsletters. Zach specializes in new media and multimedia...

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