Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has defended the UK’s “very serious package” of sanctions against Russia, arguing it will be effective in “inflicting pain” on Vladimir Putin.
She also said the Government will ramp up punitive measures in the event of a “full-scale invasion” by Moscow.
On the current set of sanctions, Ms Truss told Sky News: “What it will achieve is inflicting pain on Vladimir Putin and his regime, and the Russian economy.
“It is a very serious package. It targets key oligarchs, we’re clear that sovereign debt will not be able to be raised by the Russian government. It targets key Russian banks that fund the military and fund the activities of the Russian government.
“But we are aligned with our international allies in saying that we will escalate the sanctions, that there will be even more tough sanctions on key oligarchs, on key organisations in Russia, limiting Russia’s access to the financial markets, if there is a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which I’m afraid to say … we are very much expecting.”
Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy has said the Government needs to implement stronger sanctions on Russia, telling BBC Breakfast “a threshold has been breached”.
He said: “I think the mood of the entire House of Commons yesterday was that the Government were not being strong enough.
“The Labour Party, of course, but also other parties and backbenchers in the Conservative Party (are) hugely concerned that we’ve not been strong or hard enough – sending a message to Vladimir Putin that might, at this 11th hour, make him step back.”