The British authorities announced their intention to change their sanctions legislation so that it could involve Russian oligarchs and their assets. The Russian Federation called these statements "alarming." According to Sky News, Britain is fully preparing to respond to a potential Russian attack on Ukraine.
"Currently the statutory sanctions are narrowly drawn: we can only impose them against those companies that are directly involved in the destabilization of Ukraine. We want to widen that so that the sanctions target any company of interest to the Kremlin and the Russian regime itself, so that Putin's oligarchs and companies that support the Russian state have nowhere to hide," British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss stated.
She did not rule out that the sanctions could also affect real estate in London owned by "the oligarchs of Vladimir Putin." However, the Minister did not specify against whom and what kind of restrictive measures were being considered. According to her plans, the corresponding bill will be submitted to the Parliament today, on January 31.
The Kremlin responded to the British Foreign Office's statement. Putin's Spokesperson Dmitry Peskov called the intentions of the British authorities alarming.
"These are very alarming statements from London. I think they are alarming not only for us and our companies. This shows London’s unpredictability," he stressed.
Peskov called the intentions of the British a "blatant attack on business" and announced retaliatory measures.
"An attack by one single country on Russian business, of course, implies retaliatory measures, and these measures will be formulated solely in accordance with our own interests, based on our own interests, if necessary," he said.
Maria Zakharova, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry, also did not leave the statement of her colleague unattended.
"Most importantly, not a step back, Mrs Truss! We have high hopes for you. No momentary British financial interests can be more important than democracy and freedom! Bring your opinion to the implementation, you can claim to get a medal "For Сooperation". Do your best. By the way. You have a list with the corrupt officials Russia asked to extradite," she said.
Context. Last week, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson stated that he had warned his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin about the disastrous consequences for the Russian Federation in case of an attack on Ukraine. He also stressed that his country had taken the lead in the process of creating a package of economic sanctions against Moscow.
Контекст. На минувшей неделе премьер-министр Великобритании Борис Джонсон заявил, что предупредил своего российского коллегу Владимира Путина о катастрофических последствиях для РФ в случае нападения на Украину. Он также подчеркнул, что его страна взяла на себя роль лидера в процессе создания пакета экономических санкций против Москвы.
This week Liz Truss and Boris Johnson will visit Ukraine. According to People's Deputy Oleksiy Honcharenko, the British Prime Minister will arrive in Kyiv tomorrow, February 1. What's more, Johnson is also scheduled to have a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin this week.