No hesitation. UK approves tough sanctions against Russia if it further invades Ukraine

11 February 2022, 04:19 PM

The United Kingdom has approved legislation to toughen and expand sanctions against Russia if it further invades Ukraine, the UK government said in a press release on Feb. 10.

The legislation is “part of measures to urge the Kremlin to end its campaign of aggression in Ukraine.”

”The new law will allow “... The UK (to) impose sanctions on Russian businesses and individuals in a wide range of economic and strategically significant sectors, such as the chemical, defense, extractives, ICT and financial services industries,” the press release reads.

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British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stressed that the UK is resolute in its support for Ukraine’s sovereignty and right to self-determination.

“We urge Russia to de-escalate and choose the path of diplomacy,” she said. “If Russia persists with its aggression towards Ukraine the UK and its partners will not hesitate to act.”

Earlier Truss warned that Russian oligarchs would have “nowhere to hide” under the proposed toughened sanctions regime.

Russia has been massing troops at the border since late October.

More than 130,000 Russian troops and offensive weapons have been deployed near Ukraine’s borders and in the temporarily occupied territories, according tothe latest intelligence estimate from the Ministry of Defense of Ukraine.

On Jan. 14, the UK-based Guardian newspaper and the U.S.-based CNN news channel reported that Russia had positioned covert operatives in Ukraine to carry out a “false flag” operation to use as a pretext for a Russian attack, with the White House and Pentagon both stating they received the same intelligence.

Both U.S. and European officials have expressed concern over the situation. U.S. President Joe Biden in December declared that the White House was working out “the most comprehensive and meaningful set of initiatives to make it very, very difficult for (Russian President Vladimir) Putin to go ahead and do what people are worried he may do.”

The proposed measures include cutting Russia off from the SWIFT international banking system, personal sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and his inner circle, and a ban on U.S. dollar transactions with Russia. The Kremlin says the troop movements are an internal affair of the Russian Federation.

At the same time, Moscow has repeatedly accused Ukraine of planning “provocations,” and alleged that Kyiv plans to regain control of the occupied territories by military means. The Kremlin has failed to back up any of its allegations with evidence, however.

Russian troops have also been deployed to Belarus, as part of previously unscheduled military exercises. However, Russian equipment has been spotted along the Ukrainian-Belarusian border, far from the zone where the exercises are supposed to be held.

Russia has also announced that it was be blocking off access to large portions of the Black Sea for what it alleges are ‘naval missile and gunnery training exercises’ from Feb. 13 to Feb. 19.

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