Truss says working with G7 on new Russia sanctions

Truss added that the Western countries should cooperate with other nations to further isolate Russia…reports Asian Lite News

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that she was working with G7 partners on new restrictions against more Russian banks over the Russian military operation in Ukraine.

“I am working with our G7 partners to crack down on more Russian banks and agree a clear timetable to eliminate our imports of Russian oil, gas and coal,” Truss said, as quoted by The Telegraph.

The secretary also called on the G7 partners to close ports for Russian vessels and make Russian gold unavailable for the Russian government.

“We need to rebuild our international security architecture. We can no longer labour under outdated agreements with Russia that they blatantly disregard and undermine. The days of the NATO-Russia Founding Act are over,” she said.

Truss added that the Western countries should cooperate with other nations to further isolate Russia.

Britain had on Wednesday announced what it described as a “significant ratcheting up” of sanctions on Russia, including a full asset freeze on the country’s largest bank Sberbank and end to all new British outward investment into Russia.

It comes as Prime Minister Boris Johnson declared that the reported attacks on civilians by Russian forces in the Ukrainian town of Bucha do not “look far short of genocide”.

Dozens of people have been found dead in the town after Russian troops withdrawal, resulting in worldwide condemnation, but Moscow has denied involvement and described the reports as fake news.

“I’m afraid when you look at what’s happening in Bucha, the revelations that we are seeing from what Putin has done in Ukraine doesn’t look far short of genocide to me,” Johnson told reporters.

“It is no wonder people are responding in the way that they are. I have no doubt that the international community, Britain very much in the front rank, will be moving again in lockstep to impose more sanctions and more penalties on Vladimir Putin’s regime,” he said.

The UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) announced sweeping new measures soon after, which it said are developed in lockstep with global allies including the European Union (EU) and the US.

“Today, we are stepping up our campaign to bring Putin’s appalling war to an end with some of our toughest sanctions yet,” said UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

“Our latest wave of measures will bring an end to the UK’s imports of Russian energy and sanction yet more individuals and businesses, decimating Putin’s war machine. Together with our allies, we are showing the Russian elite that they cannot wash their hands of the atrocities committed on Putin’s orders. We will not rest until Ukraine prevails,” she said.

This marks the UK’s fifth package of economic measures, aimed at cutting off key sectors of the Russian economy and ending UK dependency on Russian energy as part of what the FCDO sees as starving Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine”.

The sanctions cover asset freezes against Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow. In 2020, UK investment in Russia was worth over GBP 11 billion, which will now face an outright ban.

By the end of 2022, the UK said it will end all dependency on Russian coal and oil, and end imports of gas as soon as possible thereafter. From next week, the export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts will also be banned – a measure targeting not only the industry’s finances but its capabilities as a whole.

As part of action against key Russian strategic industries and state-owned enterprises, there will now also be a ban on imports of iron and steel products, a key source of revenue. Russia’s military ambitions are also being thwarted by new restrictions on its ability to acquire the UK’s world-renowned quantum and advanced material technologies, the FCDO said.

Besides, a further eight oligarchs active in industries which Putin uses to “prop up his war economy” are also on the latest sanctions list.

These include: Viatcheslav (Moshe) Kantor, the largest shareholder of fertilizer company Acron with vital strategic significance for the Russian government; Andrey Guryev, known close associate of Putin and founder of PhosAgro – a vital strategic company that produces fertilizers; Sergey Kogogin, director of Kamaz – manufacturer of trucks and buses, including for the Russian military and Sergey Sergeyevich Ivanov, President of the world’s largest diamond producer Alrosa, which the UK also sanctioned.

Others are Leonid Mikhelson, the founder, and CEO of leading Russian natural gas producer Novatek, with a net worth of GBP 18 billion; Andrey Akimov, the CEO of Russia’s third largest bank Gazprombank; Aleksander Dyukov, the CEO of Russia’s third largest and majority state-owned oil producer GazpromNeft; and Boris Borisovich Rotenberg, son of the co-owner of Russia’s largest gas pipeline producer SGM. The Rotenberg family are known for their close connections to Putin and a number of them have already been sanctioned. The latest move comes ahead of a meeting of G7 Foreign Ministers on Thursday, where the UK will call for further collective action, including an accelerated timetable for all G7 countries to end their dependency on Russian energy.

The UK government said it will also call for continued G7 unity in imposing further co-ordinated waves of sanctions against the Russian economy and elites around Putin, until Russia withdraws its troops and ends its brutal campaign of aggression against Ukraine once and for all.

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