UK announces new sanctions targeting Russian ships

The UK Government announced Thursday its latest sanction package on Russia, the first to target Russia’s”shadow fleet” of oil ships, in a bid to hinder President Vladimir Putin’s ability to fund the country’s war against Ukraine. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak made clear that the UK stands in support of Ukraine and that the sanction package seeks to prevent Putin from “funding his war machine.”

In May, the UK imposed a sanction package targeting “illicit arms-for-oil transfers between Russia and North Korea.” The UK government says that since February 2022, “sanctions have deprived Russia of over $400bn worth of assets and revenues.” Thursday’s sanctions were made under the UK Government’s Russia (Sanctions) (EU Exit) Regulations 2019.

According to its press release, the UK Government says that the latest sanctions target “suppliers of munitions, machine tools, microelectronics, and logistics to Russia’s Russia’s military, including entities based in China, Israel, Kyrgyzstan and Türkiye, along with ships which transport military goods from North Korea to Russia.”

The sanctioned vessels include four vessels from the “shadow fleet” and two vessels that have allegedly shipped weapons to Russia.

The new sanctions also target “institutions at the heart of Russia’s financial system.” These institutions are the Public Joint Stock Company Moscow Exchange Group, PJSC SPB Exchange, Joint Stock Company National Settlement Depositry and Central Counterparty National Clearing Centre. One individual was also sanctioned: Moscow Exchange board chairman Yuri Olegovich Denisov.

Prime Minister Sunak said:

The UK will always stand shoulder to shoulder with Ukraine in its fight for freedom. Today we are once more ramping up economic pressure through sanctions to bear down on Russia’s ability to fund its war machine. Putin must lose, and cutting off his ability to fund a prolonged conflict is absolutely vital.