Russia sanctions: the measures the UK, US and EU have taken over Ukraine crisis - and what they could do next

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The UK government has announced sanctions against three billionaires and five Russian banks

Boris Johnson has been urged to impose tougher sanctions on Russia as the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate.

The Prime Minister is expected to be quizzed in the Commons on Wednesday (23 February) over the punishment handed out to Kremlin-linked oligarchs and banks in response to Russian aggression.

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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said that the Government is considering a number of further measures to stop Vladimir Putin’s incursion into Ukraine.

Here we take a look at what sanctions the UK has imposed on Russia - and further punishments that could be handed out.

What sanctions have the UK imposed on Russia?

Boris Johnson has been urged to impose tougher sanctions on Russia as the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate. (Getty Images)Boris Johnson has been urged to impose tougher sanctions on Russia as the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate. (Getty Images)
Boris Johnson has been urged to impose tougher sanctions on Russia as the crisis in Ukraine continues to escalate. (Getty Images) | Getty Images

Mr Johnson announced in the Commons on Tuesday (23 February) that three billionaire allies of Putin and five Russian banks would face punitive measures.

Immediate sanctions will be deployed against banks Rossiya, IS Bank, General Bank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank.

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The three “very high net wealth individuals” are Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg, and Igor Rotenberg.

Mr Johnson described them as “cronies” of the Russian President.

The sanctions include UK asset freezes, a travel ban and prohibition on British individuals and businesses dealing with them.

Similar sanctions have also been announced by the European Union and the United States.

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What was the reaction to the UK sanctions on Russia?

The Prime Minister was criticised for not going far enough with the measures.

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer said “we must be prepared to go further”, while the Liberal Democrats’ Layla Moran branded the sanctions as “gruel”.

Former Conservative foreign secretary Jeremy Hunt also criticised the measures, saying that the Russian President would have predicted these sanctions.

He said: “Putin will have predicted and discounted western sanctions long ago, so does he (Mr Johnson) agree that if we are not to be behind in the diplomatic chess game, we need to do some things that he is not expecting?”.

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Tobias Ellwood, Conservative chairman of the Defence Committee, said: “Sanctions alone will not be enough, indeed untargeted sanctions may play into Putin’s plan to pivot Russia ever closer to China.”

Conservative former minister Mark Harper asked for assurances that Boris Johnson will implement “further and stronger measures even if President Putin does no more”.

What further sanctions could be imposed on Russia?

Writing in The Times, Ms Truss said she had a call with G7 allies to “agree the next package” of sanctions.

No 10 also insisted that there were more measures to come if Russia did not back down from  manoeuvres in eastern Ukraine where troops had been sent into the Donbas region under the guise of being “peacekeepers”.

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Ms Truss said Britain will “use every lever at our disposal to stop (Putin) in his tracks”, adding “nothing is off the table”.

She said the UK was considering sanctions for members of the Russian Duma and Federation Council, and extending Crimea’s territorial sanctions to the separatist controlled territories in the Donbas.

She said: “We have a long list of those complicit in the actions of the Russian leadership. Should Russia refuse to pull back its troops we can keep turning up the heat, targeting more banks, elites and companies of significance.”

Ms Truss added the UK was also willing to introduce “measures to limit Russia’s ability to trade and prohibit a range of high-tech exports, degrading the development of its military industrial base for years”.

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What sanctions have the EU and US imposed on Russia?

In Europe, the 27 EU member states unanimously agreed to a package of measures.

In a press conference, the EU’s foreign affairs policy chief Josep Borrell said 351 members of the Russian State Duma who “voted (for) this violation of international law” would be sanctioned.

He said that in addition “27 individuals and entities who are playing a role in undermining or threatening Ukrainian territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence” would face measures.

In perhaps the most significant intervention, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz took the step of blocking the certification of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline that would have supplied gas directly from Russia to Germany.

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Meanwhile, in a statement from the White House, US President Joe Biden told reporters: “We’re implementing full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions, VEB and their military bank.

“We’re implementing comprehensive sanctions on Russian sovereign debt. That means we’ve cut off Russia’s government from Western financing, it can no longer raise money from the West and cannot trade in its new debt on our markets or European markets either.”

He also said there would be sanctions against “Russia’s elites and their family members”.

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