UK legislates for tougher Russia sanctions – Metro US

UK legislates for tougher Russia sanctions

A flag flies outside the consular section of Russia’s Embassy
A flag flies outside the consular section of Russia’s Embassy in London

LONDON (Reuters) -Britain published new legislation on Thursday broadening the scope of those linked to Russia who could be sanctioned if Moscow invades Ukraine.

Britain warned on Thursday the West could face the “most dangerous moment” in its standoff with Moscow in the next few days, with Russia holding military exercises in Belarus and the Black Sea following its troop buildup near Ukraine.

The new laws will allow Britain to impose tough penalties on those close to the Kremlin and involved in destabilising Ukraine, or undermining or threatening its territorial integrity, sovereignty or independence. It is part of an international effort to outline the economic consequences for Russia.

Russia denies it intend to invade Ukraine.

It also set out the power to sanction those obtaining a benefit from or supporting the Russian government.

“The UK can now sanction not just those linked directly to the destabilisation of Ukraine, but also Government of Russia affiliated entities and businesses of economic and strategic significance to the Russian government, as well as their owners, directors and trustees,” a foreign office statement said.

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has previously warned “there would be nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs”.

The legislation came into effect at 1700 GMT. Britain has not publicly disclosed the possible targets of any sanctions, but warned they would be imposed the moment any incursion takes place.

It set out the following strategically important sectors within which new sanctions could be imposed: chemicals, construction, defence, electronics, energy, mining, financial services, information, communications and digital technologies and transport.

(Reporting by William James and Guy Faulconbridge, Editing by Paul Sandle and Tomasz Janowski)