UK extends Russian export ban to diamonds, metals over Ukraine conflict
London: The UK on Friday extended its package of sanctions against Russia with a ban on Russian diamonds, an industry worth USD 4 billion in exports in 2021, as well as imports of Russian-origin copper, aluminium and nickel and sanctioned 86 more people and entities linked with the country over the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who is in Japan for the G7 Summit, said the trade measures and individual sanctions will hit Russian President Vladimir Putin’s key revenue streams.
During talks with world leaders in Hiroshima – the site of the World War II atomic bombing, Sunak warned against complacency in defending democratic values and standing up to autocratic regimes.
“For the sake of global peace and security, we must show that brutal violence and coercion does not reap rewards,” said Sunak.
“As today’s sanctions announcements demonstrate, the G7 remains unified in the face of the threat from Russia and steadfast in our support for Ukraine. We are meeting today in Hiroshima, a city that exemplifies both the horrors of war and the dividends of peace. We must redouble our efforts to defend the values of freedom, democracy and tolerance, both in Ukraine and here in the Indo-Pacific,” he said.
The latest announcement follows Sunak’s meeting with President Volodymyr Zelenskyy during a surprise visit to London earlier this week when he confirmed new military aid and stressed the importance of long-term international support for Ukraine.
The leaders discussed Ukraine’s path to deeper political partnership and increased interoperability with the G7 and NATO allies, Downing Street said.
“Putin and his supporters must – and will – pay the price for their illegal invasion of Ukraine. That’s why through today’s new sanctions we are increasing the economic pressure on Putin – making it harder for him to wage his illegal war and inflict untold suffering on innocent Ukrainians,” said UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
“We will continue to increase this pressure and crack down on all emerging forms of circumvention until Ukraine prevails and peace is secured. Our support for Ukraine is, and will remain, resolute for as long as it takes,” he said.
The latest set of 86 sanctions target individuals and organisations connected to Russia’s energy, metals, defence, transport, and financial sectors, which the British government said is aimed at ramping up pressure on Putin’s remaining revenue and attempts to use these sectors to support the military machine.
The UK Foreign Office said the package builds on the UK’s recent sanctions against Russia, including implementing new trade measures to ban every item used on the battlefield to date and designations to crackdown on “financial fixers and oligarch enablers” last month.