The UK has levelled new services and goods export bans against Russia following the illegal annexation of four regions of Ukraine.
Foreign secretary James Cleverly said the UK condemned Russian president Vladimir Putin’s announcement of the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territory on Friday last week (30 September).
“We will never recognise the results of these sham referendums or any annexation of Ukrainian territory,” he said.
“The Russian regime must be held to account for this abhorrent violation of international law. That’s why we are working with our international partners to ramp up the economic pressure through new targeted services bans.”
New measures will ramp up pressure by targeting imports of services, two thirds (67%) of which come from countries now imposing sanctions on Russia.
The UK will prevent Russian access to services sectors including IT consultancy, architecture, engineering, advertising, transactional legal advice and auditing.
The export of almost 700 goods from the UK to Russia have been banned, meaning £19 billion worth of UK-Russia trade has been wholly or partially sanctioned.
Britain also sanctioned Russia’s central bank governor Elvira Nabiullina, imposing an asset freeze and travel ban, Reuters reports.
The EU is getting closer to agreeing its eighth round of sanctions, according to Reuters.
It has recommended more trade curbs and individual black-listings, while moving towards a price cap for Russian sea-borne oil deliveries to third countries.
New import sanctions would cover steel and steel products, paper and timber. Exports of more tech equipment and services to Russia could also be barred.
The 27 EU member countries need unanimity to impose further sanctions and could discuss the matter at the national leaders’ meeting in Prague on October 6-7.
However, Bloomberg reports hopes that a deal can be reached ahead of this meeting even as early as today (03 October.)
“I am hopeful in a couple of hours we can have a unanimous agreement on the sanctions package,” said Polish ambassador to the EU Andrzej Sados.
“We are very close to it and there is determination to clinch a deal ASAP.”
The US launched its own round of fresh sanctions against hundreds of Russia-linked firms and officials following the annexation last week, reports Al Jazeera.
The US Treasury Department targeted nearly 300 members of Russia’s legislature, as well as companies and individuals it accused of links to the country’s “military-industrial complex”, including Nabiullina.