The UK has sanctioned five Russian banks and three oligarchs close to the Kremlin in response for Vladimir Putin’s move last night to invade parts of Eastern Ukraine.
Liz Truss also summoned Russia’s ambassador to the UK today.
The foreign secretary is not expected to expel Andrei Kelin at today’s meeting, which comes after Russian President Vladimir Putin sent tanks into the eastern Ukrainian region of Donbass last night.
“We believe that Russia’s actions overnight could well be a precursor to a full scale Russian invasion,” a Number 10 spokesperson said.
The UK is expected to unveil a list of sanctions today against Russian companies and Kremlin-linked Oligarchs in the wake of Putin’s escalation of the crisis.
German chancellor Olaf Scholz announced today that the £10bn Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline between Russia and Germany would be cancelled in retaliation for Russia’s actions.
The Russian president last night recognised the independence of Donetsk and Luhansk, two cities in Donbass, after eight years of fighting between Ukrainian forces and Kremlin-backed separatists.
Russian tanks rolled into these areas soon after.
Boris Johnson said this morning that he would announce a “barrage of sanctions” against Moscow and that the UK will hit the “economic interests that have been supporting Russia’s war machine”.
“They will hit Russia very hard and there is a lot more that we are going to do in the event of an invasion. Be in no doubt that if Russian companies are prevented from raising capital on the UK financial markets, if we unpeel the facade of Russian ownership of companies, of property, it will start to hurt,” Johnson said.
“We didn’t do enough as Europeans to wean ourselves off Russian hydrocarbons, off Russian oil and gas and to a certain extent now the vagaries of the price in gas, the spikes in gas prices to which European economies are so vulnerable is a consequence of that failure to move away from that dependency.
“That’s what we’ve got to do now, we’ve got to make sure that we cut the umbilicus, we snip the drip feed into our bloodstream from Nord Stream.”