Russia sanctions: How the UK, US and EU could punish Putin further

US President Joe Biden has announces a series of sanctions on Russia

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Throughout Tuesday a number of countries issued penalties against Russia for recognising two separatist controlled areas of Ukraine – Donetsk and Luhansk – as independent states. The development has raised fears that a full-scale invasion of Ukraine is imminent, with an estimated 150,000 Russian soldiers waiting in the wings.

Despite claims from Russia that its forces have entered Ukraine on a “peacekeeping” basis, the decision has been widely condemned around the world as a flagrant disregard of international law.

Countries including the UK, US and Germany, as well as the European Union (EU), have all imposed their own sanctions on Moscow

The majority of these have been aimed at Russian entities linked to the Kremlin and include banks and oligarchs.

Further measures have been threatened should Russia maintain its path of aggression towards Ukraine.

So, what could these measures include?

Any further sanctions are likely to continue down the trend of affecting the finances of Russian business or key stakeholders.

The Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer suggested in the House of Commons, on Tuesday, that the UK should exclude Russia from the global Swift payment system.

Other measures that were called for by Sir Keir included a ban on trading in Russian sovereign debt and action to prevent Russia “broadcasting its propaganda around the world”.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that the UK would be imposing sanctions against five Russian banks and three billionaires.

However, it’s thought that the Government has the power to introduce penalties against a further 50 oligarchs with close ties to Mr Putin.

Suggestions have been levelled at stripping Russia of any hosting privileges for sporting events, including the Champions League final that’s due to be held in St Petersburg this year.

Greater support could also be offered to Ukraine and other neighbouring countries of Russia, as the US has opted to do – in what President Joe Biden has called – the “first tranche” of sanctions being imposed against Russia.

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Sanctions from the US will target Russia’s VEB bank and the country’s military bank, Promsvyazbank, which does defence deals.

Russia’s sovereign debt will also be subjected to penalties by the US.

Meanwhile, Mr Biden has confirmed that tomorrow and in the coming days, he would impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs and their families.

The UK has already frozen the assets of Gennady Timchenko, Boris Rotenberg and Igor Rotenberg.

Recognised as close associates to the Kremlin, the trio have also been banned from travelling to the British Isles.

Elsewhere, Germany has announced that it will not certify the opening of the Russian gas pipeline Nord Stream Two.

A number of western allies, such as the UK, US and Poland, have welcomed the announcement.

The EU has also published its own set of sanctions proposals, which included targeting members of the Russian parliament and banks financing Russia’s military.

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