British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has unveiled the country’s biggest-ever package of sanctions against Russia targeting banks, members of President Vladimir Putin’s closest circle and wealthy Russian Oligarchs.
Many western nations are imposing tough economic sanctions against Russia in response to its invasion of Ukraine.
“This hideous and barbarous venture of Vladimir Putin must end in failure,” said Johnson in the British parliament when announcing the new sanctions.
The new British sanctions target more than 100 Russian individuals and entities.
“For our part today the UK is announcing the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen.”
As per a government official, coordinated Western sanctions would knock percentage points off the Russian economy in the next 12 to 18 months.
As part of the sanctions package, the British government would also freeze assets of major Russian banks, including state-owned VTB, Russia’s second-biggest bank, and stop major Russian companies from raising funds in Britain.
“Sanctions have been a reality for us over the past few years, and another round of politically motivated anti-Russian sanctions came as no surprise,” said VTB in a statement. “We have had time to learn the lessons and prepare for the most severe scenario, we have worked through several plans to counter the sanctions in ways which minimise the negative consequences for our clients.”
Among the people targeted by the second wave of sanctions included Kirill Shamalov, Putin’s once son-in-law.
Sanctions has also been imposed on Pyotr Fradkov, the chairman of Promsvyazbank. The finance ministry has accused Fradkov of working to transform the bank into one that serves the Russian defence industry.
Britain will also ban Russia’s flagship airline Aeroflot from landing in Britain, suspend dual export licences and ban high tech exports and parts of the extractive industry.
Western countries have also called for banning Russia from SWIFT, the inter-bank messaging network which is the backbone of international finance.