In a new round of penalties, the United Kingdom freezes the assets of Russia’s top banks.

Following the invasion of Ukraine, the United Kingdom announced further measures to prohibit all new foreign investment in Russia and to freeze the assets of the country’s largest bank.

In what Foreign Secretary Liz Truss described as “some of our strongest measures yet,” the British government moved to freeze the assets of Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank, and the Credit Bank of Moscow.

All new foreign investment into Russia has been prohibited, and the United Kingdom has pledged to cease all Russian coal and oil imports by the end of the year, with gas to follow as soon as feasible.

Eight more oligarchs would face sanctions, including Moshe Kantor, the largest shareholder in the fertiliser company Acron, and Andrey Guryev, the founder of another major fertiliser firm, whom the UK characterized as a close acquaintance of Vladimir Putin.

Sergey Sergeyevich Ivanov, the president of Alrosa, the world’s largest diamond producer, and Leonid Mikhelson, the founder and CEO of Novatek, the major Russian natural gas producer, are among the oligarchs who have been sanctioned.

The statement was made in tandem with similar steps taken by western partners, particularly the EU, which has also blocked Russian coal imports. Along with the United Kingdom, the United States slapped penalties against Sberbank, Russia’s largest bank.

Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow will have their assets frozen, and all new outward investment in Russia, which was valued £11 billion in 2020, will be prohibited.

The UK would halt its reliance on Russian coal and oil by the end of 2022, according to the sanctions declaration, with a promise to stop importing gas “as soon as practicable thereafter.”

Export limits on essential oil refining equipment, as well as import bans on iron and steel items, will be implemented.

Meanwhile, the White House placed penalties on Russia’s top public and private banks, as well as two of Vladimir Putin’s daughters, putting even more pressure on the country’s economy and elite over the invasion of Ukraine.

The new sanctions were aimed at Putin’s adult daughters Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova, whom he has with his former wife Lyudmila Shkrebneva.

New sanctions were also imposed on Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov’s wife and daughter, as well as members of Russia’s Security Council, including former Russian President and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

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