PMQs: Boris Johnson swerves Keir Starmer's probe on Roman Abramovich's future

Boris dodges q on Roman Abramovich
Aden-Jay Wood

By Aden-Jay Wood

Published: 02/03/2022

- 10:50

Updated: 02/03/2022

- 15:54

The Government has been urged to impose more sanctions on Russian oligarchs

Boris Johnson refused to be drawn on whether Chelsea Football Club owner Roman Abramovich will receive sanctions after facing an intense grilling from Sir Keir Starmer during Prime Minister's Questions (PMQs).

Mr Johnson has been criticised for not acting quicker on sanctioning Russian billionaire Mr Abramovich, who has ties to the Kremlin.

And while he wouldn't speak about specific cases, the Prime Minister did say that a full list of Russian oligarchs will soon be published by the Government.

The Prime Minister added: "I stand by what I’ve said in the House and what we put on the record, but be there no doubt that the actions that we’ve already taken, that this house has already taken, are having an effect in Moscow, and by exposing the ownership of properties, of companies in the way that we are, by sanctioning 275 individuals already, a further 100 last week, that the impact is being felt."

Sir Keir then pressed on why Russia's former deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov did not appear on the UK sanctions list when he appears on the EU’s list.

To which Mr Johnson replied: “I think the House should be proud of what we have done already. And I can tell him that there is more to be done. And thanks to the powers that this house and this Government has taken, we can sanction any individual, any company connected with the Putin regime.

"This Government was amongst the first in Europe to ban Aeroflot from our skies. This Government led the way last week in banning the use of Swift. And if he talked to any of our European partners, he would understand the leading role the UK has already paid and the impact that those sanctions are already having in Moscow.

"The impact of what the UK is doing, the whole house should be proud on what we have done. On Thursday, the Russian stock market fell by £250billion, the rouble fell by 40 percent. That is thanks to the package of Western sanctions the UK has led."

In opening, Mr Johnson said: “Putin has gravely miscalculated; in his abhorrent assault on a sovereign nation, he has underestimated the extraordinary fortitude of the Ukrainian people and the unity and resolve of the free world in standing up to his barbarism.

“The UN General Assembly will vote later today and we call on every nation to join us in condemning Russia and demanding that Putin turns his tanks around.

“If instead Putin doubles down then so shall we, further ratcheting up economic pressure and supporting Ukraine with finance, with weapons and with humanitarian assistance.

“Today the Disasters Emergency Committee is launching its Ukraine appeal and every pound donated by the British people will be matched by the Government, starting with £20million.”

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