UK imposes sanctions on Russian lawmakers who backed breakaway regions of Ukraine

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss walks outside Downing Street in London, Britain March 8, 2022. REUTERS/Peter Nicholls

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LONDON, March 11 (Reuters) – Britain on Friday imposed sanctions on 386 members of Russia’s lower house of parliament and said it would seek to ban the export of luxury goods to Russia in order to increase diplomatic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin for invading Ukraine.

The announcement – the latest in a series of punitive measures taken by Britain and its international allies – said the sanctions targeted those who had voted to recognize the independence of Ukraine’s largely Russian-speaking breakaway regions of Luhansk and Donetsk. on the eve of the invasion. .

The government had declared on February 22 that it would sanction members of the Duma and confirmed the process on Friday.

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“We are targeting accomplices to Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and those who support this barbaric war,” British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said in a statement.

“We will not relax the pressure and will continue to tighten the screws on the Russian economy with sanctions.”

Duma members listed will be banned from traveling to Britain, accessing assets held in Britain or doing business there, the Foreign Office said. The European Union has already sanctioned the same group of lawmakers.

Russia has pounded Ukrainian towns, while its main attack force north of Kiev has made only tentative progress since the early days of the invasion. Read more

Russia denies attacking Ukraine, but says it is conducting a “special operation” to disarm and “denazify” Ukraine, which it says will be planning.

After Group of Seven leaders agree to move to revoke Russia’s ‘most favored nation’ trade status, which would allow G7 countries to raise tariffs and set quotas on products Russians, Britain said it was also seeking to stop the export of luxury goods. Read more

“The UK will also work to ban luxury goods exports to Russia, cutting off access to high-end products from some of the world’s largest producers of luxury goods,” the Prime Minister’s office said. Minister Boris Johnson.

He said further details would be worked out in the coming days.

Britain on Thursday imposed sanctions on seven other Russian businessmen, including Chelsea football club owner Roman Abramovich, in a bid to root out Russian assets stationed in Britain and increase pressure on Putin and his allies.

Britain has dismissed criticism from lawmakers and opposition activists that it has been slower than international allies to impose sanctions, and thus gave wealthy Russians time to transfer their assets elsewhere.

But ministers have agreed that the existing sanctions regime is too burdensome, and the government is passing emergency legislation to streamline this process.

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Reporting by William James and Michael Holden; Editing by Alistair Smout, Kevin Liffey and Rosalba O’Brien

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