UK announces new Russia sanctions to mark Ukraine invasion anniversary

UK announces new Russia sanctions to mark Ukraine invasion anniversary

LONDON (Reuters): Britain announced a new package of sanctions against Russia on Thursday, saying it was seeking to diminish President Vladimir Putin’s weapons arsenal and war chest two years after the invasion of Ukraine.

The package, covering more than 50 individuals and entities, was announced two days before Saturday’s second anniversary of the full-scale invasion and is part of a coordinated Western effort to restrict the Russian economy.

“Our international economic pressure means Russia cannot afford this illegal invasion. Our sanctions are starving Putin of the resources he desperately needs to fund his struggling war,” Foreign Secretary David Cameron said in a statement.

The European Union on Wednesday approved its own package of sweeping sanctions, banning nearly 200 entities and individuals accused of helping Moscow procure weapons or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children.

Britain sanctioned companies linked to the Russian ammunition industry, including what it said was the largest, the Sverdlov State Owned Enterprise, and targeted sources of revenue in the metals, diamonds and energy industries.

That included a Turkish company Britain said was supplying electronics to Russia, three electronics companies in China and executives at Russian diamond producer Alrosa. It also added managers of copper producer UMMC to the list.

Alrosa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The foreign office also imposed sanctions on what it said were key Russian importers and manufacturers of machine tools used to manufacture defense systems and components ranging from missiles and engines to tanks and fighter jets.

The government also said it was preparing to strengthen its powers to target “malign Russian shipping activity and individual ‘shadow fleet’ vessels used by Russia to soften the blow of oil-related sanctions.”

Britain this week imposed sanctions on six individuals in charge of the Arctic penal colony where Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny died.

There are more than 2,000 Russian individuals, companies and groups on Britain’s sanctions list.