UK’s Johnson warns of protracted crisis
The UK slapped sanctions on Russian banks and billionaires in what Prime Minister Boris Johnson called "the first barrage" of measures in response to the Kremlin's recent decisions.
UK’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson said Tuesday that Britain will impose sanctions on five Russian banks and three "very high-net-worth individuals" following Russia's decision to recognize the sovereignty of the two republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, in southeast Ukraine.
“Britain will use new powers approved by parliament to introduce pre-prepared sanctions on Russian individuals and entities of strategic importance to the Kremlin", Johnson told Parliament.
"The UK and our allies will begin to impose the sanctions on Russia that we have already prepared... to sanction Russian individuals and entities of strategic importance to the Kremlin," he told MPs.
The five banks -- IS Bank, Rossiya, Promsvyazbank, General Bank, and the Black Sea Bank -- and three people sanctioned will see any UK assets frozen.
Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg, and Igor Rotenberg will be prevented from entering the United Kingdom, and all UK persons and businesses will be prohibited from interacting with them and their banks.
"We cannot tell what will happen in the days ahead," Johnson added in the House of Commons, "But... we should steel ourselves for a protracted crisis."
"This is the first tranche, the first barrage, of what we are prepared to do, and we hold further sanctions at readiness to be deployed, alongside the United States and the European Union," he stressed.
It is worth mentioning that Boris said on Saturday that “if Ukraine is endangered, the shock will echo around the world. And those echoes will be heard in east Asia — will be heard in Taiwan."
These remarks came as the EU's top diplomat announced that foreign European ministers will meet on Tuesday to discuss what penalties to implement in response to Russia's decision to recognize the sovereignty of the two republics.
Sanctions legislation signed
On February 10, the UK government signed new legislation into law that gives it the authority to impose tougher and broader sanctions on Russia if it escalates its alleged aggression against Ukraine, as per the western rhetoric.
The new legislation became effective after being signed by a minister and formally laid before Parliament, a procedure that does not necessitate a vote by MPs.
This came as UK Foreign Minister Liz Truss visited Moscow and met with her Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, who later said the talks left him "disappointed".
According to the EU's top diplomat, foreign ministers will meet on Tuesday to discuss what penalties to implement in response to Russia's decision to recognize the sovereignty of the two republics, Donetsk and Lugansk, in southeast Ukraine.
EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said the meeting in Paris “will take the political decisions vis-à-vis the European response.”