UK's Lacklustre Sanctions Against Russia Are Being Pulled Apart By Twitter Sarcasm

"Russia has a better claim to own the Tory Party than to a single square foot of Ukraine."
Boris Johnson speaking in the Commons during Wednesday's PMQs
Boris Johnson speaking in the Commons during Wednesday's PMQs
UK Parliament/Jessica Taylor via PA Media

The UK has sanctioned a handful of Russian oligarchs following the Kremlin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine – but most people think Downing Street has still not gone anywhere near far enough.

As of Wednesday, the US, Canada and Europe have removed Russia from the financial security network SWIFT.

Russian banks have had their assets frozen in the UK in the last week – yet, as a country, Britain is still trailing behind its allies when it comes to punishing Moscow over its Ukrainian invasion.

The EU has targeted a much longer list of Russians believed to be in Vladimir Putin’s inner circle. Some of these oligarchs, also under US sanctions, have even been linked to £200 million in UK property, according to the Guardian.

Berlin took a major step when it halted the Nord Stream 2 pipeline, which funnelled natural gas from Russia to Germany. It has also seized a $600 million ($4.5 million) superyacht from a Russian oligarch.

The White House has announced that it will be targeting “technology exports” in the oil refining sector as well this week, and even famously neutral Switzerland has imposed sanctions on Russian companies and people.

Meanwhile, the UK has still not sanctioned Chelsea owner, Roman Abramovitch, despite ongoing speculation around the Russian billionaire who has just announced he is selling the football club.

No.10 has already been heavily criticised for not imposing severe sanctions against Russia like many other Western nations.

Downing Street has now confirmed that it will rush through the Economic Crime Bill on Monday – this is the legislation expected to target Russian oligarchs and their assets, although critics still believe it is not strict enough.

Here’s a round-up of the most frustrated tweets about the sanctions:

Labour has also accused the government of failing to act against Putin’s allies, and has called for No.10 to match the EU’s efforts.

Housing secretary Michael Gove is reportedly looking at seizing the lands and property of sanctioned oligarchs without having to pay them compensation, but no action has been taken just yet.

Johnson has promised to publish a full list of all those associated with Russia’s president, and during Wednesday’s PMQs, claimed: “The vice is tightening on the Putin regime and it will continue to tighten.”

Frans Timmermans, the first vice-president of the European Commission, told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme did point out that the Uk is “now following the EU’s lead of oligarchs”.

He explained: “The pressure of public opinion in the UK is very clear about this.

“Even parties who accepted funding from oligarchs should understand that they need to change course because that’s what the British public want.”


What's Hot