UK to pitch ‘hit list’ of Russian oligarchs
The UK has compiled a list of ‘Russian oligarchs’ who will face sanctions in the coming weeks, the head of the British Foreign Office told Sky News on Sunday.
“This week we will be introducing the Economic Crime Bill which will create a lot more transparency around the structure of these companies and make it much clearer what is going on,” UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said, referring to companies owned by Russian citizens.
“There are over 100 billionaires in Russia. We have compiled a hit list of oligarchs. We are working through and putting the cases together, and every few weeks we will sanction new oligarchs,” Truss warned. She added that the proposed legislation will target private properties of Russia’s wealthiest individuals.
“We will go through the hit list. We will be targeting oligarchs’ private jets, we will be targeting their properties, we will be targeting other possessions that they have and there will be nowhere to hide,” the official said, adding that the UK plans to start with people they find to be close to the Russian government.
Truss’ announcement follows similar measures introduced against Russia’s elite earlier this week by countries that oppose Russia’s ongoing military operation in Ukraine. On Tuesday, the US announced sanctions that included measures against Russian oligarchs and their family members. The list of names that fell under the sanctions was further broadened on Thursday. Switzerland sanctioned three Russian banks and imposed travel restrictions on 361 Russian government officials.
The measures have already resulted in the decline of wealth held by the sanctioned few, with Russia’s 22 richest individuals seeing their net worth plunge by a cumulative $39 billion in less than 24 hours on Thursday, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. The wealth wipeout came as a result of the Russian stock market crash, which happened after Russia launched a “demilitarization” operation in Ukraine, seen by many Western nations as an “unjustified” attack.
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