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UK announces new Russia sanctions to mark Ukraine invasion anniversary

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron (UK Department for International Development/WikiCommons)

This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.

Britain has expanded its sanctions against Russian companies and individuals and entities outside Russia that are suspected of aiding in the circumvention of existing sanctions, the U.K. government said on February 22.

In a statement issued two days before the second anniversary of Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said the move adds more than 50 individuals and entities to its sanctions list as it seeks to restrict and weaken the Russian defense industry.

The package also takes aim at companies in China, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries accused of circumventing previously imposed sanctions.

“Two years on, we stand united in support for Ukraine. Our international economic pressure means Russia cannot afford this illegal invasion. Our sanctions are starving [Russian President Vladimir] Putin of the resources he desperately needs to fund his struggling war,” Cameron said in a statement.

Cameron said the sanctions will disrupt Putin’s ability to equip his military with high-tech equipment and weaponry and block him from “refilling his war coffers while Ukraine defends itself.”

There are now more than 2,000 Russian individuals, companies, and groups on Britain’s sanctions list.

One of the largest companies included in the update is the Novatek project Arctic LNG-2 for the production of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Sanctions were also imposed against Arctic LNG 2 and its general director, Oleg Karpushin, and other top managers of Novatek, the majority owner of Arctic LNG 2.

Britain said Arctic LNG-2 is one of the key links in Putin’s plan to make Russia a major LNG player.

The sanctions also target a Turkish company involved in the supply of electronics, three electronics companies based in China, Russia’s state-run diamond giant Alrosa and its CEO, and companies active in Russia’s oil and mining industries.

The sanctions come a day after the European Union approved its own package of expanded sanctions, including bans on nearly 200 entities and individuals accused of helping Moscow procure weapons or of involvement in kidnapping Ukrainian children.

U.S. President Joe Biden has said the United States will announce a package of tough new sanctions on February 23 against Russia over the death in prison of opposition leader Aleksei Navalny.