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31 Jan, 2022 17:56

UK to ramp up Russian sanctions over ‘aggression’

The expanded powers will be used to hit Russia and its strategic interests when “necessary,” London said
UK to ramp up Russian sanctions over ‘aggression’

The UK has announced the impending expansion of its anti-Russian sanctions. Monday evening's move comes in response to Moscow’s alleged “aggression against Ukraine,” the Foreign Office said in a statement. 

“Until now, the UK has only been able to sanction those linked to the destabilisation of Ukraine. The new approach will mean a much broader range of individuals and businesses can be sanctioned due to their significance to the Kremlin,” the statement reads.

While no new penalties were actually imposed on Monday, the move means the expanded powers “will be ready, if necessary, to hit the Russian state and its strategic interests where it really hurts,” the Foreign Office explained. 

“Whether you support Russia’s aggressive actions against Ukraine, or you’re of wider significance to the Kremlin, we will have the power to sanction you,” Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said. “Nothing is off the table, and there will be nowhere to hide.”

The impending expansion of the sanctions regime, which could potentially enable London to seize property from wealthy Russian nationals it deems to be “oligarchs,” has already been condemned by Moscow. Responding to remarks made by Truss to Sky News on Sunday, the head of Russia’s Senate committee for the protection of national sovereignty, Andrey Klimov, said such actions would primarily damage Britain’s own image, however.

“Technically, the implementation of such ‘sanctions’ is possible, but their legality will be under a very big question, and will cause an outflow of capital from Britain – for example, to Hong Kong or Zurich,” the official warned.