Boris Johnson has said he is preparing to ban Moscow from issuing sovereign bonds in the UK and bar Russian companies from raising money in the City of London if Vladimir Putin makes further military incursions in Ukraine.
The Prime Minister today waved away calls that the UK’s set of sanctions yesterday in response to Russia’s invasion of eastern Ukraine were too weak, saying that “there is more to come and we will be stopping Russia from raising sovereign debt, stopping Russian companies from raising money and stopping Russian companies to even clear in Sterling and international markets”.
Rossiya Bank, IS bank, Genbank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank yesterday were barred from trading in the UK and their assets have been frozen.
Russian billionaires and Putin associates Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg have had their UK assets frozen and are now banned from entering the country.
The five sanctioned banks are all relatively small, however Rossiya is known to have very close links to the Kremlin and Promsvyazbank was described by western officials as a “key actor in propping up Russia’s defence sector”.
The five banks have a combined value of £36bn, according to the Prime Minister.
The sanctions were criticised by MPs from across the divide as being not enough to deter Vladimir Putin from making further military advances in Ukraine and for not being as tough as measures brought forward by the US and EU.
Brussels and Washington yesterday banned Russia from issuing state bonds in their respective markets, along with freezing assets held by other financial institutions.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer told MPs: “The Prime Minister promised that in the event of an invasion he would unleash a full package of sanctions. If not now, then when?”
The government is holding back some economic sanctions in order to have more penalties to hit the Kremlin with if they ramp up its invasion of Ukraine.
There will also be legislation introduced later this year that will seek to stamp out money laundering in the City of London by organised crime gangs and corrupt foreign governments.
“We want to see de-escalation by Vladimir Putin. There’s still hope he’ll see sense. We’re ready very rapidly to escalate our sanctions as we’ve set out,” Johnson said.