Russia blood diamonds are latest Kremlin sanction from UK as Sunak goes after 86 more Putin-linked individuals
Britain is banning Russian diamonds in a new wave of sanctions to pressure Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine as Rishi Sunak warns allies against complacency at the G7 summit in Japan.
The Prime Minister announced the new measures against Russia, also including a prohibition on imports of Russian-origin copper, aluminium and nickel on the eve of the meeting in Hiroshima on Thursday.
Having signed a new defence and security pact with Tokyo, Mr Sunak will visit the A-bomb dome ruin with his Japanese counterpart, Fumio Kishida, to reflect on the atomic devastation in the Second World War.
Talks between G7 allies including the US’s Joe Biden and France’s Emmanuel Macron will centre on military and economic support for Ukraine as they seek to show a united front.
The UK is also preparing new individual sanctions against 86 people and companies to apply further pressure on the Russian president and his supporters.
Downing Street expects other G7 allies, which also include Germany, Italy and Canada, as well as the EU, to impose similar sanctions.
The diamond export industry was worth more than £3 billion to Russia in 2021, but No 10 conceded direct imports have been low since the UK sanctioned state-owned miners Alrosa last year.
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said discussions will include future security guarantees and long-term deterrence to prevent Ukraine ever facing a similar situation.
On the Chinese threat to Taiwan, the official said: “Guarding against economic coercion is something that the Prime Minister is pushing for.”
Becoming the first Prime Minister to visit Hiroshima, Mr Sunak signed a new pact with Mr Kishida to bolster strength in the Indo-Pacific region amid concerns over Chinese aggression.
“For the sake of global peace and security, we must show that brutal violence and coercion does not reap rewards,” he said.
“As today’s sanctions announcements demonstrate, the G7 remains unified in the face of the threat from Russia and steadfast in our support for Ukraine.”
On Sunday, Mr Sunak will meet his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, who is attending the summit as a guest.
Mr Modi has remained neutral on the Russian invasion, calling for peaceful dialogue to end the war. The Prime Minister told reporters travelling with him in Japan that he has seen “positive” steps from India in its stance.
Press Association – Sam Blewett