US officials have raised concerns about effective sanctions on President Putin if Russia invades Ukraine because of “dirty money” tolerance in the UK.
Diplomatic sources told The Times that US State Department officials had expressed “dismay and frustration” at the government’s failure to take action against suspect money coming into the country, especially in “Londongrad”.
“The fear is that Russian money is so entrenched in London now that the opportunity to use it as leverage against Putin could be lost,” a source in Washington told The Times.
“Biden is talking about sanctioning Putin himself but that can only be symbolic. Putin doesn’t hold his money abroad, it is all in the kleptocrats’ names and a hell of a lot of it is sitting in houses in Knightsbridge and Belgravia right under your government’s noses.”
The US officials aren’t the only ones raising this concern.
City A.M. reported exclusively this morning that senior Tory Tom Tugendhat said Boris Johnson should “close down the options that allow” Putin’s army of oligarchs to launder money in the City.
The Foreign Affairs Committee chair wrote that the UK needs to play its part in shutting down the London laundromat.
It comes as tension continues to bubble in the Ukraine, with the prospect of a Russian invasion looking evermore likely.