Ukraine crisis: Truss targets Sberbank and hi-tech exports, Shapps bans Russian ships from UK ports

Mon 28 Feb 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
Trade News

ukraine russia

Foreign secretary Liz Truss has announced the latest set of UK sanctions against Russia in its latest response to the crisis in Ukraine.

Truss told the House of Commons today (28 February) that she will introduce new powers to be used against the Russian financial sector to prevent Russian banks from clearing payments in Pound Sterling.

She said that she will use these new powers against three million Russian companies as soon as they are available, including Sberbank – Russia’s largest bank.

Hi-tech exports

She also said the UK will ban hi-tech exports to Russia – including micro electronics, marine and navigation equipment. She says this will “act as a drag on Russia’s economy for years to come”.

Foreign Office officials are also “working through the night” drawing up sanctions against individual oligarchs, the Guardian reports.

“The UK and our allies will have to undergo some economic hardship as a result of our sanctions,” she said. “But our hardships are nothing compared to those injured by the people of Ukraine.”

Ports ban

Transport minister Grant Shapps has also a issued a letter to all UK port operators saying no Russia-owned or operated vessel will be allowed to use British ports.

“Given Putin's action in #Ukraine I've made clear these vessels are NOT welcome here with prohibiting legislation to follow,” he tweeted.

Swift action

Over the weekend, the EU, US, UK and allies agreed to remove multiple Russian banks from SWIFT – the Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications – the primary global platform for cross-border financial transactions.

According to the Times, barring Russian banks will mean transactions “have to go through individual banks or less established alternatives, causing delays and raising costs”.

Russia accounted for 1.5% of transactions on the system in 2020.

Dual-use items

The BBC reports that the UK, EU, US and other countries have widened controls on dual-use items being sent to Russia, including a suspension of export licences for such goods in the UK.

Dual-use items are goods or technologies deemed to have both a civilian and military use.

Rouble plummets

The BBC also reports that the Bank of Russia has had to hike interest rates by 20% to halt a plummet in value for the country’s currency, the rouble.

The currency dropped 30% against the US dollar when markets opened this morning, but the interest rate increase has seen this recover to a 20% decrease.

DIT advice

On Friday, the Department for International Trade advised firms to check if their product is on an export ban list here.

Firms can also check if their goods are subject to the suspension of export licences for dual-use goods here.

The DIT’s Export Control Joint Unit also issues regular updates on sanctions, embargoes and controls through its Notice to Exporters.

IOE&IT webinar

The IOE&IT is also running a webinar advising firms on how they can comply with the new sanctions and controls on Wednesday 2 March at 11am.

You can register to the free webinar here.