Britain expands its powers to sanction Russian companies and businessmen

London, February 10 (EFE).- The British government this Thursday approved a new legal framework that gives it the power to sanction companies and entrepreneurs with “strategic importance” for Russia, one of the tools it hopes to deter the Kremlin from launching an invasion of Ukrainian territory. London will now have the ability to impose penalties on Russian interests, even if the company or individual concerned did not directly participate in the destabilization of Ukraine. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs detailed in a statement that companies in sectors such as chemicals, defense, technology, communications and financial services could be subject to sanctions. Secondary legislation only enters into force after it is formally issued by Parliament and initialed by the Secretary of State for Europe, James Cleverly. Britain can now sanction “entities affiliated with the Russian Government and companies that have a strategic or economic interest in the Russian Government, as well as their owners, directors and members of the board of directors,” the Foreign Office details. The Foreign Minister, who this Thursday met in Moscow with his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, stressed when announcing the law’s entry into force that the British Government “remains steadfast in supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and its right to self-determination.” “If Russia continues its aggression against Ukraine, Britain and its partners will not hesitate to act,” Truss said, urging the Kremlin to “de-escalate” tensions and “choose the path of diplomacy.” London has developed its own international sanctions regime since leaving the European Union (EU). On January 31, Truss announced before the House of Commons his intention to expand the powers attributed to him by that legal framework. EFE gx/ie

Roderick Gilbert

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