UK slaps new sanctions on Russia, including its shadow fleet

UK slaps new sanctions on Russia, including its shadow fleet

The United Kingdom has announced 50 new sanctions designations and specifications to degrade Vladimir Putin’s war machine, in coordinated action with G7 partners to support Ukraine.

That’s according to the UK Government press service, Ukrinform reports.

“New targets include ships in Putin’s shadow fleet, institutions at the heart of Russia’s financial system and suppliers supporting Russia’s military production,” reads the press release.

These new sanctions will bear down on Russia’s ability to fund and equip its war, the government believes, adding that today’s action includes the UK’s first sanctions targeting vessels in Putin’s shadow fleet, used by Russia to circumvent UK and G7 sanctions and continue unfettered trade in Russian oil.  

Read also: G7 plans to warn Chinese banks helping Russia circumvent sanctions - Reuters

“Today we are once more ramping up economic pressure through sanctions to bear down on Russia’s ability to fund its war machine. Putin must lose, and cutting off his ability to fund a prolonged conflict is absolutely vital,” said Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

As part of its enduring commitment to the region, the UK has today committed to providing GBP 242 million in bilateral assistance to Ukraine, to support immediate humanitarian, energy and stabilization needs, and is now working with counterparts to agree a mechanism to bring forward the extraordinary profits stemming from immobilized Russian sovereign assets to Ukraine’s benefit.   

“Russia’s oil exports are Putin’s most critical revenue source for funding his illegal war in Ukraine. Tax on oil production collected by the Kremlin in 2023 amounted to 8.9 trillion roubles, or 31% of Russia’s total federal revenues. Today’s sanctions aim to disrupt and increase the costs of Russia’s efforts to bypass UK and G7 sanctions through its shadow fleet,” the UK Government reports.

Read also: U.S. Treasury calls on allies to be more active in undermining Russia’s effort to pace up defense production

The new package of sanctions also targets suppliers of munitions, machine tools, microelectronics, and logistics to Russia’s military, including entities based in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan and Türkiye, along with ships which transport military goods from North Korea to Russia.  

In addition, this new package cracks down on institutions at the heart of Russia’s financial system, including the Moscow Stock Exchange. This action is taken in coordination with the US, which designated the Moscow Stock Exchange on June 12, the report explains.

So far, sanctions have deprived Russia of over $400 billion worth of assets and revenues since February 2022. That’s equivalent to four more years of funding for the invasion. The UK has sanctioned over 2,000 individuals and entities under our Russia sanctions regime. 

This includes 29 banks accounting for over 90% of the Russian banking sector and over 130 oligarchs and family members who had a combined net worth around GBP 147 billion at the time of the invasion. Over GBP 20 billion of UK-Russia bilateral trade (2021 figures) is now under full or partial sanction. There has been a 99% fall in Russian imports into the UK, and a 73% fall in UK exports to Russia.

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