UK announces fresh trade sanctions against Russia

The UK on Sunday announced a new package of trade sanctions worth £1.7 billion ($2.09 billion) targeting Russia and Belarus.

A statement from the British government said the move was “designed to further weaken (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine,” bringing the total value of products under sanctions since Russia’s “illegal invasion of Ukraine began” to more than £4 billion ($4.9 billion).

The newly announced sanctions include import tariffs and export bans.

“The new import tariffs will cover £1.4 billion worth of goods – including platinum and palladium – hampering Putin’s ability to fund his war effort,” the statement said.

“Russia is one of the leading platinum and palladium producing countries and is highly dependent on the UK for exports of platinum and palladium products,” it added.

The export bans will target “more than £250 million worth of goods in sectors of the Russian economy most dependent on UK goods, targeting key materials such as chemicals, plastics, rubber, and machinery.”

“We are determined to do our utmost to thwart Putin’s aims in Ukraine and undermine his illegal invasion, which has seen barbaric acts perpetrated against the Ukrainian people,” said Secretary of State for International Trade Anne-Marie Trevelyan.

“This far-reaching package of sanctions will inflict further damage on the Russian war machine. It is part of a wider coordinated effort by the many countries around the world who are horrified by Russia’s conduct and determined to bring to bear our economic might to persuade Putin to change course.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak said: “This is the third wave of trade sanctions announced by the UK government and, excluding gold and energy, will bring the proportion of goods imports from Russia hit by restrictions to more than 96%, with more than 60% of goods exports to Russia under whole or partial restrictions, effectively contributing to the debilitation of the Putin war machine.”

At least 3,309 civilians have been killed and 3,493 others injured in Ukraine since Russia launched a war on the country on Feb. 24, according to UN estimates. The true toll is feared to be much higher.

More than 5.8 million people have fled to other countries, with some 7.7 million people internally displaced, according to the UN refugee agency.

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