Government to continue to work closely with social media platforms and allies to uncover, expose, and counter the Kremlin’s disinformation operation…reports Asian Lite News
The government on Wednesday announced a ban on services exports to Russia over the ongoing conflict with Ukraine, cutting Moscow off any business with UK sectors such as management consultancy, accountancy and public relations.
Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said the latest set of measures will mean Russia’s businesses can no longer benefit from the UK’s “world class” accountancy, management consultancy, and PR services, which account for 10 per cent of Russian imports in these sectors.
“Doing business with Putin’s regime is morally bankrupt and helps fund a war machine that is causing untold suffering across Ukraine,” said Truss.
“Cutting Russia’s access to British services will put more pressure on the Kremlin and ultimately help ensure Putin fails in Ukraine,” she said.
The British government claims Russia is “heavily reliant” on Western services companies for the production and export of manufactured goods, and the new ban will further ratchet up economic pressure on Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Our professional services exports are extraordinarily valuable to many countries, which is exactly why we’re locking Russia out. By restricting Russia’s access to our world-class management consultants, accountants and PR firms, we’re ratcheting up economic pressure on the Kremlin to change course,” said UK Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng.
Following the publication this week of UK-funded research exposing the Kremlin’s shadowy troll factory tactics, the UK government said it is also imposing 63 new sanctions, many of which hit actors and organisations from mainstream media organisations with asset freezes and travel bans.
The move is said to be bolstered by new legislation now in force, which means social media, internet services and app store companies must take action to block content from two of Russia’s major sources of “disinformation” RT and Sputnik.
UK Tech and Digital Economy Minister Chris Philp said: “For too long RT and Sputnik have churned out dangerous nonsense dressed up as serious news to justify Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. These outlets have already been booted off the airwaves in Britain and we’ve barred anyone from doing business with them. Now we’ve moved to pull the plug on their websites, social media accounts and apps to further stop the spread of their lies.
Among those sanctioned on Wednesday include significant individuals at Channel One, a major state-owned outlet in Russia.
The UK Foreign Office said Channel One is known for “spreading disinformation in Russia, justifying Putin’s illegal invasion as a Special Military Operation”.
The government said it will continue to work closely with social media platforms and allies to uncover, expose, and counter the Kremlin’s disinformation operation.
Alongside previous asset freezes against media outlets already in place, the UK Foreign Office said it is “systematically shutting out Putin’s propaganda machine”.