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UK will sanction Putin 'imminently', PM Boris Johnson tells NATO

Addressing a virtual meeting of NATO leaders, Johnson said his government will personally sanction the Russian leaders over their "revanchist mission" to overturn the post-Cold War order.

Boris Johnson

Press Trust of India London
Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Friday told the leaders of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) that the UK will "imminently" impose direct sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov over Moscow's invasion of Ukraine.
Addressing a virtual meeting of NATO leaders, Johnson said his government will personally sanction the Russian leaders over their "revanchist mission" to overturn the post-Cold War order.
He also called for "immediate action" to ban Russia from the SWIFT payment platform to "inflict maximum pain" on the Russian regime.
The Prime Minister urged leaders to take immediate action against SWIFT to inflict maximum pain on President Putin and his regime. The UK would introduce sanctions against President Putin and Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov imminently, on top of the sanctions package the UK announced yesterday, he said, a Downing Street spokesperson said, with reference to the NATO meeting.
The Prime Minister added that the world must make certain President Putin would fail in this act of aggression. Ukraine was showing strong resistance. He added that there could no normalisation of relations with Russia after this act, the spokesperson said.
Johnson warned NATO that the Russian President's ambitions might not stop at Ukraine and that this was a Euro-Atlantic crisis with global consequences.
The European Union (EU) has already sanctioned President Putin and his foreign minister.
Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy had called on both the UK and the EU to strengthen their package of measures hitting oligarchs supporting the Putin regime and freezing Russian bank assets.
NATO is a military alliance originally formed in 1949 by 12 countries, including the US, Canada, the UK and France.
Members of the alliance agree to come to one another's aid in the event of an armed attack against any member state. Ukraine is not a member country but wants to join the alliance, something Putin is vehemently opposed to.
On Thursday, Johnson had outlined what he termed the largest and most severe package of economic sanctions that Russia has ever seen in the House of Commons. It involved a ban on Russian flag carrier Aeroflot and a full asset-freeze of Russian state-owned bank VTB and powers to allow the UK to exclude Russian banks from Britain's financial system.
The UK government also announced a limit on the amount that Russian nationals can deposit in their UK bank accounts and Russian state and private companies will be banned from raising money in the UK.
The UK PM informed MPs that overall Britain will be imposing asset freezes on over 100 more new entities and individuals, on top of the hundreds already announced.
Legislation to enforce some of the wide-ranging sanctions will be laid in Parliament by early next week.
These trade sanctions will constrain Russia's military, industrial and technological capabilities for years to come, declared Johnson.
It comes as the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv was hit by air strikes and fighting got closer to the capital. There are warnings that Russia could use thermobaric weapons against Ukrainian forces if they continue to hold up their advance.
Earlier on Friday, Belarussian ambassador to the UK, Maxim Yermalovich, was summoned to the Foreign Office over its role in the invasion.
The UK condemns the role Belarus is playing in the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Belarus must stop supporting Russia's illegal and unprovoked actions. We must be united against Russian aggression, said James Cleverly, UK Minister for Europe and North America.
Belarus needs to desist from its support to Russia and respect Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty in line with its international obligations, the minister noted.
Russia's invasion of Ukraine has provoked widespread condemnation from countries in the West, unleashing sanctions against associates of the Putin administration.

(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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First Published: Feb 26 2022 | 7:20 AM IST

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