Cyrus, Timberlake Finnish gigs under U.S. sanctions

Recording artist Miley Cyrus attends an album release signing event, on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2013, at Planet Hollywood in New York. (Photo by Andy Kropa/Invision/AP)

HELSINKI: Finnish concerts by American pop stars Miley Cyrus and Justin Timberlake have come under the cloud of U.S. sanctions against Russia because of the venue's Russian owners, the promoter said on Thursday.

Timberlake has a sold-out concert scheduled in May at the Hartwall Arena in Helsinki, which is owned by Gennady Timchenko, co-founder of Russia oil trader Gunvor, and brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg.

All three were included in a list of visa bans and asset freezes imposed by the United States against close allies of President Vladimir Putin last month following Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

Cyrus is due to perform at the arena, Finland's biggest entertainment venue, in June.

Helsinki concert promoter Live Nation Finland said its lawyers were discussing with U.S. authorities whether the sanctions against the venue's owners would bar planned shows by American artists.

"We are examining the possibility whether this could have an impact on American artists' shows," said Nina Castren, the chief executive of Live Nation Finland.

"If it does, then we will need to come up with a different solution. But I believe that the problem will be solved and the concerts will be held," she said.

Timchenko and the Rotenbergs bought a stake in Helsinki ice-hockey team Jokerit along with the arena, which is the team's home rink, last year.

Timchenko's and the Rotenbergs' company in Finland, Arena Events Oy, could not be immediately reached for comment.





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