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Sanctions on Russia

Volume 719: debated on Tuesday 6 September 2022

UK sanctions are aimed at undermining Putin’s war effort, inflicting cost at scale, and demonstrating strong support for Ukraine. Our response is in lock-step with allies and has inflicted a significant economic cost to the Russian economy. The IMF predicts that by 2026 the Russian economy will be 16% smaller compared with pre-invasion trends.

I know the sanctions have strong support across the House and in communities in the United Kingdom, but will the Government consider going further to ensure that additional pain is inflicted on President Putin and his cronies?

I thank my hon. Friend and parliamentarians in all parts of the House for the united approach we have taken in applying maximum pressure on Putin for his aggression in Ukraine. We will continue to put pressure on Putin and his regime until Ukraine prevails, or Putin ends his war of choice. Nothing and no one is off the table. Although it is not appropriate to speculate on specific future designations, lest their impact is reduced, Russian aggression cannot and must not be appeased.

One of the people sanctioned in the UK is Roman Abramovich. His football club, Chelsea, was sold on 30 May, but the billions of pounds are sitting in his bank account because the Foreign Office still has not set up the fund to enable the money to be given to the people of Ukraine. Why is the Foreign Office taking so long, and when is it going to be sorted?

Although I cannot comment on specific cases, I point out that measures have been taken against 1,100 individuals, including 123 oligarchs and their family members with a global net worth of £130 billion, more than 120 entities and all the subsidiaries owned by them; and against 19 Russian banks with global assets of about £940 billion—more than 80% of the Russian banking sector. In addition, acting in conjunction with partners, over 60% of Russia’s central bank’s foreign reserves have been frozen. That demonstrates our commitment to do everything we can, applying our criteria set by this Parliament, to bring these people to account.