News from Russia: UK sanctions target £1bn worth of luxury goods | World | News


The British government announced a new wave of sanctions on Thursday, including new import bans and high tariffs on goods from Russia. The latest measures include import bans on silver, wood products and high-end products from Russia, including caviar.

The move aims to put additional pressure on Russia’s imploding economy as President Vladimir Putin steps up his invasion of Ukraine, now in its ninth week.

Tariffs will rise by 35 percentage points on around £130million worth of goods from Russia and Belarus, including diamonds and rubber, the UK Department for International Trade has announced.

Announcing the sanctions, International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said: ‘The UK continues to stand with Ukraine and is working closely with our international partners to inflict maximum damage on the regime. of Putin, by cutting the resources and funds he needs to wage this illegal war.

“We are taking every opportunity we can to increase the pressure to isolate the Russian economy and these new measures will tighten the screws, closing lucrative avenues of funding for Putin’s war machine.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said the ‘significant sanctions’ will bring total UK import tariffs and bans on Russian products to over £1billion, ‘imposing additional economic pain on the economy of Putin for his barbaric and unwarranted attacks on a sovereign nation”.

The UK has already banned the import of many steel products from Russia and Belarus, as well as halting some luxury goods exports to Russia.

Sanctions introduced last month banned the export of items to Russia worth hundreds of millions of pounds, including luxury cars, designer clothes and accessories, precious stones and works of art .

The move was aimed at depriving Russian oligarchs and other members of the country’s elite of their premium products.

Russia has also been hit with crippling import duties on goods worth more than £900million, including Russian vodka.

The new trade restrictions are accompanied by 26 new sanctions announced by the British government earlier on Thursday targeting “defence actors”, including military generals and defense companies involved in the war in Ukraine.

The Foreign Ministry said the latest round of sanctions was in response to Russia’s “continuing war of aggression in Ukraine” and its renewed assault on the eastern regions of Donetsk and Luhansk.

He said intelligence suggested civilian infrastructure was being deliberately targeted in the heavily besieged city of Mariupol, including hospitals, schools and transportation.

READ MORE: UK intelligence finds Russia ‘targeting civilian infrastructure’

The government said the sanctions would target “the main leaders of the Russian military” – those “who command the front line to commit heinous acts” during the war.

Lt. Col. Azatbek Omurbekov, who has been dubbed the “Butcher of Bucha” for allegedly ordering the massacre in the city, is among those targeted.

Others include Colonel General Andrey Serdyukov, Commander of Airborne Forces, Major General Valery Flyustikov, Commander of Special Operations Forces, and Colonel General Nikolay Bogdanovsky, First Deputy Chief of the General Staff. .

The leaders had their assets frozen and were banned from travel.

Thursday’s round of sanctions also targeted “individuals outside of Putin’s military who actively support his illegal invasion of Ukraine.”

This included travel bans and asset freezes against Oleg Belozyorov, the chief executive of vital logistics company Russian Railways, and Ilya Kiva, an expelled Ukrainian MP.

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Announcing the moves, Foreign Minister Liz Truss said, “The depravity of Russia’s aggression against the Ukrainian people is plain to all.

“They deliberately target hospitals, schools and transport hubs in Mariupol and beyond – just as they did in Chechnya and Syria.

“The UK is adamant in its support for Ukraine and in holding Putin and his regime accountable.

“Today’s new wave of sanctions hits generals and defense companies with blood on their hands.”

The UK has already imposed hundreds of sanctions on prominent Russian oligarchs and politicians since the war began on February 24, including President Putin and his Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The conflict entered a new phase this week when Russian forces launched a deadly assault on eastern Ukraine. Russian officials now say capturing the Donbass region is the main objective of the war.