The UK will phase out Russian coal imports by the end of the year, as part of a new co-ordinated round of sanctions with its Western allies to “decimate Putin’s war machine.”
It has also frozen the assets of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank, and sanctioned a further eight oligarchs active in industries including fertilizers, oil, gas, trucks and diamonds.
The government will also restrict outward investment to Russia – which was worth over £11bn in 2020 – and the export of key oil refining equipment and catalysts.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said: “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.”
This is the UK’s fifth package of sanctions since the crisis began, and follows the banning of Kremlin-backed oil supplies last month.
The West has hardened its stance after reports of Ukrainian civilians being executed by Russian forces in Bucha.
Alongside new measures from Downing Street, the European Union (EU) has ramped up sanctions on the continent.
The trading bloc is also set to ban coal imports, and is additionally preparing to seize revenues relating to Russian oil and gas imports.
The EU remains split on the prospect of sanctions on Russian oil and gas – relying on the country for around a third of its oil imports and 40 per cent of its natural gas supplies.
However, it relied on Russia for nearly half of its coal supplies prior to the ban and Charles Michel, chairman of EU leaders, has warned the EU will eventually have to ban Russian oil and gas to put sufficient pressure on Russia to end its invasion.
He told European Parliament: “I think that measures on oil and even gas will also be needed sooner or later.”
Meanwhile, the UK is currently weighing up a ban on Russian natural gas, with the country importing four per cent of its gas needs from Russia.