The UK Government have imposed sanctions on a network of oligarchs and financiers linked to the oil and gold businesses holding up Russia’s war machine in Ukraine.
A total of 29 individuals and corporations have been sanctioned according to the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.
The move comes as part of efforts to strangle Russia’s war economy, which relies heavily on both sectors.
Among those on the list are Nord Gold and Highland Gold Mining, the largest two producers in Russia. Also included are mining magnate Vladislav Sviblov and oligarch Konstantin Strukov
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Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said: “Sanctions continue to deal a heavy blow to the Kremlin’s war economy, to date depriving Putin of over 400 billion US dollars to fund his illegal invasion of Ukraine. But we must keep tightening the screws on Moscow.
“Today’s sanctions will hit those who have provided succour to Putin by helping him to lessen the impact of our sanctions on Russian gold and oil – two critical sources of revenue for the Russian war machine.
“As we root out and close down these circumvention avenues, we’ll continue to box Putin in and make sure his faltering war effort in Ukraine ends in failure.”
The National Crime Agency has issued an alert to banks, dealers and lawyers warning that Russia is using gold as a means to dodge the sanctions regime.
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It said gold from Russia is increasingly shipped to countries where it is not sanctioned, melted down to mask its origin and then sold on to the UK or other unsuspecting countries, the agency said.
Adrian Searle, director of the National Economic Crime Centre at the NCA, said: “Sanctions evaders undermine UK national security, working against our foreign policy objectives which promote international peace and security, and the rule of law.
“This alert will aid efforts, in partnership with the regulated sector, including the banks and high value dealers, to ensure that sanctioned individuals or those who represent them cannot use gold to circumvent UK sanctions.”
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