London Defender

The Daily Mirror of the Great Britain

Putin’s chokehold on UK begins to implode – major banks and oligarchs financially crippled

The UK will freeze the assets of the three Russian citizens, including the billionaire Gennady Timchenko. This comes after the Russian president gave the order for Russian troops to move into two separatist regions of Eastern Ukraine, Donetsk and Luhansk.

The Prime Minister declared the oligarchs’ assets frozen, as well as placing sanctions on the Russian banks of Rossiya, IS Bank, GenBank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank.

He stopped short of punishing a number of Russia’s largest banks and a host of other Russian millionaires and billionaires.

Mr Johnson said: “We want to stop Russian companies from being able to raise funds in sterling or indeed in dollars.”

Mr Johnson added Russia was barrelling towards “pariah status” on the world stage, and that the Kremlin was gearing up for a full-scale assault on Ukraine.

Addressing the Commons, Mr Johnson called this “the first tranche, the first barrage of what we are prepared to do”.

He continued: “It is absolutely vital that we hold in reserve further powerful sanctions…in view of what President Putin may do next.”

MPs then clamoured for Mr Johnson to take the sanctions against Russia further, with some calling for Russian oligarchs to be banned from the UK.

The Prime Minister responded that the Government retains “further sanctions at readiness to be deployed”.

READ MORE: PM unleashes ‘first barrage’ of sanctions as Ukraine crisis deepens

Mr Putin added that Ukraine was a long-standing part of Russian history, and described eastern Ukrainian territory as “ancient Russian lands”.

Ms Psaki added the new Executive Order, to be put in place by President Biden, was separate from these sweeping sanctions already threatened by the US, should Russia invade Ukraine.

She said: “President Biden will soon issue an Executive Order that will prohibit new investment, trade, and financing by U.S. persons to, from, or in the so-called DNR and LNR regions of Ukraine.”

She continued: “We are also ready to impose swift and severe consequences should Russia instead choose war.

“And currently, Russia appears to be continuing preparations for a full-scale assault on Ukraine very soon.”

The Kremlin’s move to back the Russian separatists was slammed by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, who said it “represents a further attack on Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity”.

Ms Truss added the decision showed a “flagrant disregard” for the existing Minsk Agreements, and was a display of Moscow taking a “path of confrontation over dialogue”.

She said: “We will coordinate our response with Allies.

“We will not allow Russia’s violation of its international commitments to go unpunished.”

The UK announced sanctions against Russia earlier this month, with those linked to Russian efforts to destabilising Ukraine facing more heavy-handed punishments in the event of a Russian invasion.

The Foreign Office said: “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.”