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20 May, 2024
 
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PM unveils sanctions on five Russian banks and three 'high net worth' individuals

The move is the 'first barrage' of response after Ukraine invasion

Source: Daily Mail

Boris Johnson today announced sanctions on five Russian banks and three 'high net worth' individuals in the first 'barrage' of the Western response to the invasion of Ukraine.

'This the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do and we hold further sanctions at readiness to be deployed.'

The PM lashed out at Vladimir Putin's aggression and dismissed his justifications as 'absurd' as he unveiled the measures in a statement to the House of Commons.

And Mr. Johnson warned that Nato and its allies must be ready for the 'next stages' of Mr. Putin's 'plan'.

The combative stance came as Germany effectively pulled the plug on the NordStream 2 gas pipeline. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz announced this morning that he is taking steps to halt the process of certifying the pipeline from Russia.

It represents a major escalation as the West begins to take punitive action against Moscow after Mr. Putin last night formally recognized separatist areas in eastern Ukraine.

The natural gas pipeline has long been opposed by the US and some European nations who argued it would increase Europe's reliance on Russian energy.

Mr. Johnson told MPs: 'Now the UK and our allies will begin to impose the sanctions on Russia that we have already prepared using the new and unprecedented powers granted by this House to sanction Russian individuals and entities of strategic importance to the Kremlin.'

He added: 'Any assets they hold in the UK will be frozen, the individuals concerned will be banned from traveling here and we will prohibit all UK individuals and entities from having any dealings with them.

'This the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do and we hold further sanctions at readiness to be deployed.'

Mr. Scholz said his government had decided to 'reassess' the certification of the pipeline, which is yet to begin operating, and told reporters in Berlin that the process 'will certainly take time'. He stressed the decision had been made in direct response to the worsening Ukraine crisis.

The NordStream 2 announcement came as Mr. Johnson warned Mr. Putin is bent on a 'full-scale invasion' and Foreign Secretary Liz Truss summoned Russia's ambassador to the UK, Andrei Kelin, to explain the Russian President's actions.

After chairing a pre-dawn Cobra meeting, the PM said Mr. Putin has 'completely torn up international law' after recognizing separatist areas and must now face an 'immediate' response.

He said sanctions will be aimed not just at entities in occupied Ukraine regions but also 'in Russia itself, targeting Russian economic interests as hard as we can'.

The premier also hinted at supplying more weaponry to Kiev's forces, saying the UK had already given 'lethal but defensive' assistance and 'we're looking at what we can do'.

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Cyprus  |  UK  |  Britain  |  Russia  |  sanctions

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