Liz Truss Confirms A Full Asset Freeze On All Russian Banks Will Be Announced "In Days"
Liz Truss has confirmed that a full asset freeze on all Russian banks will come into force “in days” as Russia continues its assault on Ukraine.
The foreign secretary’s statement came as transport secretary Grant Shapps today announced that all Russian vessels have been banned from British ports.
Speaking in the Commons on Monday afternoon, Truss vowed to “degrade the Russian economy and stopping it funding Putin’s war machine”.
Truss announced that two new pieces of sanctions legislation will be added to the UK’s wider package of economic deterrents.
The first is the introduction of new powers to prevent Russian banks from clearing payments in sterling.
More than 50% of Russia’s trade is denominated in pounds or sterling and the measure is being introduced in conjunction with the USA.
“We want a situation where they can’t access their funds, their trade can’t flow, their ships can’t dock and their planes can’t land,” Truss told the Commons.
The second piece of sanctions legislation involves a full asset freeze on three additional Russian banks – Otkritie, Sovcombank and VEB.
Under the legislation the Russian state will be barred from raising debt in the UK and Russian companies will be prevented from accessing UK capital markets. There will also be an export ban imposed across a range of critical sectors in Russia, including microelectronics, marine and navigation equipment.
“This will act as a drag on Russia’s economy for years to come,” Truss said.
Addressing MPs, the foreign secretary described Vladimir Putin as having been “confounded” by the sanctions imposed on his regime by the West.
This, she said, accounts for the President’s recent “extreme rhetoric”.
"Putin's war could end up lasting for months and years, so I say to our Ukrainian friends - we are with you,” Truss remarked.
“In Britain and around the world we are prepared to suffer economic sacrifices to support you.
“However long it takes we will not rest until Ukraine's sovereignty is restored."
Following Truss’s statement the transport secretary Grant Shapps announced that all Russian vessels have been banned from British ports.
Any Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated ship will be denied access to UK ports.
"Given Putin's action in Ukraine I've made clear these vessels are NOT welcome here with prohibiting legislation to follow," Shapps said.
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