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Miley Cyrus might not be able to bring her twerking act to Helsinki because of politics. The venue she sold out this summer happens to be co-owned by Russian businessmen that the U.S. has placed sanctions on in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.
Justin Timberlake is also supposed to perform there this summer and also sold out his show, but both American artists might have to cancel.
Live Nation Finland told NBC News that it has its lawyers investigating how the sanctions will affect their performances.
“We are examining the possibility whether this could have an impact on the shows by American artists at this venue,” Live Nation Finland CEO Nina Castren told NBC. “We do not know yet if they will have to be canceled but our lawyers are investigating what it means for us and the venues. We should have an answer by [Friday].”
The news was first reported by the Financial Times. Timberlake, Cyrus and Nine Inch Nails may have to pull out of the gigs because the Hartwall Arena is partly owned by Gennady Timchenko and brothers Boris and Arkady Rotenberg. All three are among the 27 Russians the White House sanctioned, since they are allegedly members of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle.”
According to The BBC, Timchenko was estimated to be worth $15.3 billion by Forbes and is the founder of oil trader Guvnor. The Rotenbergs knew Putin when they were children and are owners of SMP Bank. All three own Arena Events Oy, which owns the Hartwall Arena.
The U.S. sanctions say that no American citizen or business can provide the three men with “economic resources.” Although, the BBC notes, Live Nation could apply to the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control for a license to have the artists perform in Helsinki.
As a major venue in finland, Hartwall is also set to host Aerosmith, Robbie Williams, Peter Gabriel and Elton John this summer. It has a 13,000-seat capacity.