The UK government is amending the law to make it easier to introduce sanctions against Russian oligarchs, after criticism the UK was acting too slowly, it was reported.
According to BBC report, the ministers are tabling amendments to the Economic Crime Bill which are designed to allow the UK to align with penalties imposed by allies in the EU and US.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said foreigners trying to launder money in the UK would have “nowhere to hide”. But Labour accused the government of making a “U-turn under pressure”.
Ministers have already imposed asset freezes on individuals and companies with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, following the invasion of Ukraine nine days ago.
But opposition parties have said the government needs to do more to tackle wealthy Putin allies who store large amounts of money in London.
The bill, which has cross-party support, is expected to be fast-tracked through Parliament on Monday, the BBC report said.
Asserting that the United Kingdom stands with Ukraine, Johnson on Friday said that his thoughts remain with all those affected in the conflict.
PM Johnson tweeted, “Four years ago our country was rocked when Russian military intelligence deployed a chemical weapon on Salisbury’s streets. My thoughts remain with all those affected and I pay tribute to the tireless efforts of all those involved in the response to this despicable attack.”
He further said, “Nations across the world, including Ukraine, stood with us then. Today we stand with Ukraine in doing everything we can to ensure Putin’s barbaric venture ends in failure.”
Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of United Nations, said in a tweet today, “The UN is working 24/7 to scale up the capacity to deliver life-saving support to people desperate for protection and shelter in Ukraine & neighbouring countries. We are fully committed to staying and delivering for everyone affected by this deadly conflict.”
This comes against the backdrop of Russian forces launching military operations in Ukraine on February 24, three days after Moscow recognized Ukraine’s breakaway regions – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent entities.
Several countries including the UK, the US, Canada, and the European Union have condemned Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and imposed sanctions on Moscow. These countries have also promised Ukraine to help with military aid to fight Russia.
The US, Canada and European allies agreed to remove key Russian banks from the interbank messaging system, SWIFT which means Russian banks won’t be able to communicate securely with banks beyond Russia’s borders. President Putin has also signed a decree on special economic measures against the US and its allies. (with inputs from ANI)
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