The Speaker
Wednesday, 29 May 2024 – 23:13
No 10 Downing Street (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Ukraine: Johnson announces “most severe sanctions that Russia has ever seen”

After a virtual meeting with G7 leaders on Thursday, the Prime Minister announced an array of further sanctions that will be placed upon Russia, with additional sanctions announced by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss on Friday.

In the PMs statement, which was given to the House of Commons on Thursday evening, Johnson said:

“I am driven to conclude that Putin was always determined to attack his neighbour, no matter what we did.”

“Now we see him for what he is: a bloodstained aggressor who believes in imperial conquest.”

“We now live in a continent where an expansionist power is trying to redraw the map of Europe in blood, and conquer an independent state by force of arms.”

“It is vital for the safety of every nation that Putin’s squalid venture should ultimately fail and be seen to fail. However long it takes, that will be the steadfast and unflinching goal of the United Kingdom”

Officials have stated that, combined with sanctions enacted by other nations, Russia’s GDP is expected to be reduced by several percentage points.

While the sanctions are ostensibly aimed only at banks, businesses and exceedingly rich individuals with government ties, some worry that the sanctions will nevertheless hit Russian civilians the hardest.

The sanctions announced by Boris Johnson on Tuesday froze the assets of 5 Russian banks and 3 Russian billionaires. Other notable sanctions include the cancellation of the Nordstream 2 natural gas pipeline by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz.

The sanctions announced by Johnson on Thursday, and Truss on Friday, include:

  • A full asset freeze on VTB, Russia’s second-largest bank with assets totalling £154bn and 95,000 employees.
  • A ban on Russian state and private companies from raising funds in the UK, banning dealing with their securities and making loans to them.
  • A limit on the the amount of money that Russian nationals will be able to deposit in their UK bank accounts.
  • Imposing asset freezes on over more 100 new entities and individuals, “including all the major manufacturers that support Putin’s war machine.”
  • A ban on Russian airline Aeroflot from UK airspace.
  • Introduce new trade restrictions and stringent export controls.
  • A ban on the export of all dual-use items to Russia.
  • Sanctions placed on Rostec, Russia’s biggest defence company which exports more than £10bn of arms as year and employs two million people.
  • Sanctions placed on Tactical Missile Corporation, Russia’s leading supplier of air and sea missiles.
  • Sanctions placed on Uralvagonzavod, one of the world’s largest tank manufacturers.
  • Sanctions placed on United Aircraft Corporation, a supplier of Russian military aircraft.
  • Sanctions placed on United Shipbuilding Corporation, the largest shipbuilding company in Russia.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said of the sanctions:

“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.”

“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.”

Johnson also announced that the UK was attempting to persuade its allies to block Russia from the SWIFT payment system, although this has not yet been agreed upon.

The US is reportedly discussing a bill to remove Russia’s role as a permanent member of the UN security council, although this is unlikely to succeed as changes to the UN charter require the agreement of all permanent security council members.

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