UK targets theft of Ukrainian grain in new wave of Russian sanctions

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Britain said it will target companies connected to the theft of Ukrainian grain and the shipment of Russian energy in a new wave of sanctions against the Kremlin.

The UK said it will continue “increasing the economic pressure” on Russian President Vladimir Putin until peace in Ukraine is restored.

The Government will sanction 86 individuals and entities, freezing the assets of those involved in key streams of revenue.

The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said the new sanctions are part of a crackdown on what it describes as “shady individuals and entities” connected to the theft and resale of Ukrainian grain.

Russia’s sovereign assets will also remain immobilised until it agrees to pay for the damage it has caused in Ukraine, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said.

The latest announcement widens a package, in which Britain promised to ban Russian diamonds and metals, announced earlier on Friday at the G7 summit in Japan.

Mr Cleverly said: “Putin and his supporters must – and will – pay the price for their illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“That’s why through today’s new sanctions we are increasing the economic pressure on Putin, making it harder for him to wage his illegal war and inflict untold suffering on innocent Ukrainians.

“We will continue to increase this pressure and crack down on all emerging forms of circumvention until Ukraine prevails and peace is secured.

“Our support for Ukraine is, and will remain, resolute for as long as it takes.”

Companies targeted in the latest wave of sanctions include Umatex, which produces composite materials based on carbon fibre for Rosatom that could be used for military purposes, and Triniti, which has its research and development into laser physics directly funded by the Russian Federation’s State Defence Order.

Triniti’s lasers have been installed on tank chassis to dazzle the optics of aircraft and disrupt precision weapons, the FCDO said.

Oleg Romanenko, a lead official at the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power station who has allegedly been colluding with the Russian government, along with 13 members of the Gazprom-Neft board of directors and five involved in Transneft, has also been designated.

Igor Altushkin, the billionaire oligarch who owns the Russian Copper Company, has also been sanctioned.

As the third largest producer of copper in Russia, Altushkin and his business have allegedly continued to play a key role in a sector of strategic significance for Mr Putin’s military machine.

The UK has also banned Russian metals including aluminium, nickel and copper.

Individuals accused of being linked to the systematic theft of Ukrainian grain, which is widely reported to be shipped out of occupied territories packaged as Russian goods, have also been sanctioned.

This includes the State Grain Corporation and its director Nikita Busel.

As part of Friday’s wave of sanctions, some 20 defence executives and companies equipping both the Russian armed forces and Wagner group have been designated.

These include:

– Alan Valerievich Lushinkov and Vladimir Nikolaevich Lepin, directors of JSC Concern Kalashnikov, which produces an estimated 95% of all firearms in Russia

– JSC BMZ, which has produced anti-personnel and anti-tank mines used by the Russian armed forces in Ukraine

– JSC Motovilikhinskiye, a minority subsidiary of Russian defence conglomerate Rostec which manufactures howitzers used by Russian forces in Ukraine.

As part of the bid to isolate Russia from the global finance system and thwart its military capability, five banks have also been sanctioned, including JSC Dom RF and Metallurgical Investment Bank.

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