Boris Johnson announces sanctions against Russia over Ukraine

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LONDON, Feb 23: British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced on Tuesday a range of sanctions against Russia in response to the latest development in Ukraine.

Johnson told the House of Commons that Russian President Vladimir Putin had violated the Minsk agreements by recognising the “Lugansk People’s Republic” and the “Donetsk People’s Republic” as independent and sovereign states.

Announcing the sanctions, Johnson said that Britain would sanction five Russian banks – Rossiya, IS Bank, GenBank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank – along with three very high net worth individuals, reported Xinhua.

“Any assets they hold in the UK will be frozen, the individuals concerned will be banned from travelling here, and we will prohibit all UK individuals and entities from having any dealings with them,” he said, adding that this is the “first tranche, the first barrage, of what we are prepared to do alongside the United States and the European Union if the situation escalates still further”.

Johnson emphasised that he wanted to stop Russian companies from being able to raise funds in sterling or in dollars.

Russia has vowed to retaliate if new sanctions are imposed. Putin said on Monday he was aware that the West was trying to “blackmail” Russia again with sanctions, but said he believed that sanctions would continue just because Russia exists, regardless of the situation in Ukraine.

Johnson said Britain would not give up on seeking a diplomatic resolution to the situation in Ukraine. -Bernama

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