Britain has ramped up sanctions against Russia, with new measures targeting vulnerable sectors of the economy, in response to President Vladimir Putin’s “illegal” annexation of parts of Ukraine.
The Russian ambassador to London, Andrey Kelin, was summoned to the Foreign Office to be told of the UK’s objections to the Kremlin’s actions “in the strongest possible terms”.
Liz Truss has condemned the move made by the Russian leader. Maja Smiejkowska
Earlier, Prime Minister Liz Truss condemned the move by Russia’s leader, saying Britain will never accept his claim to the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia and said they amount to a “violation of international law”.
Under the new sanctions, Russia will lose access to UK services including IT consultancy, architectural services, engineering services, and transactional legal advisory services for certain commercial activity.
Putin announced he is formally annexing occupied regions in Ukraine. SPUTNIK
Britain is also banning the export of nearly 700 goods crucial to Russia’s industrial and technological sectors, while the governor of the Russian central bank, Elvira Nabiullina, joins the list of senior figures subject to travel bans and asset freezes.
Announcing the move, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “The Russian regime must be held to account for this abhorrent violation of international law.
“That’s why we are working with our international partners to ramp up the economic pressure through new targeted services bans.
“What happens in Ukraine matters to us all and the UK will do everything possible to assist their fight for freedom.”
The Foreign Office said Russia is highly dependent on Western countries for legal services, with 85% of all its legal services imported from G7 countries, with the UK accounting for 59%.
Denying Russian firms access would hamper their ability to operate internationally.
Following the estimated flight of more than 170,000 IT specialists from Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, the ban on IT consultancies is expected to further erode Russia’s ability to keep up with technological developments.
In a statement, Ms Truss said: “Vladimir Putin has, once again, acted in violation of international law with clear disregard for the lives of the Ukrainian people he claims to represent.
“The UK will never ignore the sovereign will of those people and we will never accept the regions of Donetsk, Luhansk, Kherson and Zaporizhzhia as anything other than Ukrainian territory.
“Putin cannot be allowed to alter international borders using brute force. We will ensure he loses this illegal war.”
The latest move by Russia, currently under pressure after a series of Ukrainian successes on the battlefield, has prompted condemnation globally and has been rejected by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.
Since becoming Prime Minister, Ms Truss has vowed to follow the lead of Boris Johnson in providing as much support as is needed to Ukraine.
In a call with Mr Zelensky this week, she said the UK will not accept the annexations.