Britain leading by example as UK imposes most punishing sanctions to inflict maximum pain on Russia

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Britain will lead by example in standing up to Vladimir Putin, that’s the message from Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement to the House of Commons yesterday, the Foreign Secretary has outlined in full the punishing new sanctions that will devastate Russia’s economy and target Putin’s inner circle.

Writing last night in the Telegraph Liz Truss said:

“The UK is proud to lead by example. We warned repeatedly alongside our allies that any further invasion would incur massive consequences with severe costs. We have been working in lockstep to show Moscow that we mean what we say. Our unprecedented package of economic sanctions will leave no part of the Putin regime unscathed. We are hitting more than a hundred companies and oligarchs at the heart of the Russian establishment with sanctions worth many hundreds of billions of pounds.

“Our targets range from Russia’s largest defence company and its second biggest bank to leading members of President Putin’s inner circle. This will deliver the highest economic cost the Kremlin has ever seen.”

Following its illegal invasion of Ukraine the sanctions will ban Russia’s economically vital industries and companies from raising finance on the UK’s money markets – the most important financial centre in Europe.

They will also stop Russian banks, state and privately owned companies borrowing billions of pounds from UK lenders.

At the same time severe restrictions will hammer Russia’s leading defence companies and significantly degrade Russia’s economic and military development.

The sanctions will also have an immediate impact on Russia’s wealthy elite and Putin’s inner circle including his former son-in-law.

Alongside the financial measures, the UK will substantially strengthen trade restrictions – including our toughest export controls against Russia – hitting its electronics, telecoms and aerospace companies. And Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot will be banned from the UK’s airspace.

Under new banking restrictions all Russians will be banned from having significant savings in UK bank accounts.

The UK’s sanctions against 120 businesses and oligarchs are part of a concerted strike against the Putin regime carefully co-ordinated with our international allies including the US, the EU, and other G7 partners.

The UK will also issue decisive sanctions against Belarus for its part in the wholly unjustified attack on Ukraine.

Among today’s targets are:

  • VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank with assets totalling £154bn and 95,000 employees
  • Rostec, Russia’s biggest defence company which exports more than £10bn of arms as year and employs two million people
  • five of Putin’s inner circle including his ex son-in-law Kirill Shamalov, previously married to his daughter Katarina and Russia’s youngest billionaire
  • Tactical Missile Corporation, Russia’s leading supplier of air and sea missiles which played a leading role in its build up of forces against Ukraine
  • Uralvagonzavod, one of the world’s largest tank manufacturers

Last night Truss released the following statement:

We are inflicting devastating economic pain on Putin and Russia following its unprovoked and illegal invasion of Ukraine.

Today’s unprecedented package of sanctions decisively delivers the highest economic cost we have ever imposed on the Kremlin.

Russia is now an international pariah on the world stage.

We will squeeze Putin’s regime and all those close to him responsible for its appalling attack on Ukraine.

We will not rest until Russia’s economy has been degraded and Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity restored.

We stand with Ukraine, its people and its democracy and will continue to support them economically, politically and defensively.

These sanctions are in addition to the sanctions imposed on banks, high-net worth individuals, and sanctions soon implemented on 571 members of the Duma and Federation council, as well as territorial sanctions and restrictions on sovereign debt announced on Tuesday.

The Foreign Secretary will shortly embark on a round of shuttle diplomacy in the US and Europe to galvanise a swift, determined and decisive international response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

The Government will bring forward legislation shortly to enable these punishing sanctions on Putin and his regime to be implemented.

Acting in coordination our allies, the combined effect of these measures will deliver a devastating blow to Russia’s economy and military for years to come.

The UK will introduce new financial measures to:

  • freeze the assets of all Russian banks including, today, a full asset freeze on VTB, Russia’s largest bank. Co-ordinated with the US this is by far the single biggest financial sanction in history. Individuals and companies whose assets are frozen will be unable to undertake any business in the UK or with UK nationals
  • prevent Russian companies from borrowing on the UK markets, effectively ending the ability of those companies closest to Putin to raise finance in the UK. This is in addition to banning the Russian state itself from raising funds in the UK, as previously announced
  • take a power to prevent designated banks from accessing Sterling and clearing payments through the UK. This will match the power the US already has. Banks subject to this measure will be unable to process any payments through the UK or have access to UK financial markets

The UK will substantially strengthen our trade restrictions to:

  • ban the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components in sectors including electronics, telecommunications, and aerospace

Aligned with the US, EU and other partners, these trade sanctions will constrain the development of Russian’s military-industrial and technological development for years to come.

The UK are immediately designating more Russian individuals and entities, including:

  • Kirill Shamalov, Russia’s youngest billionaire and previously married to Putin’s daughter Katarina
  • Petr Fradkov, head of the recently sanctioned Promsvyazbank and son of the former head of Russian Foreign Intelligence (FSB). Promsvyazbank was designated on February 2022 and services 70% of state contracts by the Russian Defence Ministry
  • Denis Bortnikov, Deputy President of Russia’s largest bank VTB. Bortnikov is the son of Alexander Bortnikov, the head of the Federal Security Service (FSB) which was responsible for the poisoning of political activist Alexey Navalny in August 2020 with a banned chemical agent from the Novichok group
  • Yury Slyusar, director of United Aircraft Corporation, a major aircraft manufacturer for the Russian military
  • Elena Aleksandrovna Georgieva, chair of the board of Novikombank, a state-owned defence conglomerate

These individuals will be unable to travel to the UK and any UK-based assets will be frozen.

Find out more about UK sanctions relating to Russia. You can also view the full UK Sanctions List.

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