UK will prevent Russia from selling sovereign debt to London, says Liz Truss | Ukraine
Britain will prevent Russia from selling sovereign debt to London as part of a “very serious package” of sanctions that will “inflict pain” on Vladimir Putin, Liz Truss has said.
As the Conservative Party came under increasing pressure to sever ties with wealthy Russian donors, the Foreign Secretary announced that a ban on the sale of sovereign debt, issued as bonds by governments in foreign currencies to finance growth and development, was part of a package of measures announced after Putin on Tuesday deployed military forces to two territories in eastern Ukraine.
“We have been very clear that we are going to limit Russia’s access to UK markets,” Truss told Sky News. “We are going to prevent the Russian government from increasing sovereign debt in the UK.
“There will be even tougher sanctions against key oligarchs, against key organizations in Russia, limiting Russia’s access to financial markets, if there is a full-scale invasion of Ukraine.”
The Prime Minister and the Treasury have called on finance bosses and regulators to discuss how to ensure the effectiveness of recently announced sanctions against Russia, the BBC reported. In order to limit sovereign debt sales to London, Britain would need additional legislation, according to Western officials.
Boris Johnson revealed a package of asset freezes on five Russian banks and three wealthy people on Tuesday, but was criticized by Tory MPs for not going further.
Truss said the government was taking a “gradual approach” with international allies, adding that she believed Putin was “committed” to a full-scale invasion of Ukraine, including the capital, Kyiv.
“We will agree another package in the event, which we think is very likely, of a full-scale invasion of Ukraine,” she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. not be in the situation … where we have nothing left in the locker.
She added: “Nothing is out of line when it comes to the people we are targeting.”
Former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt told the Today program that if the UK wanted to avoid “being two steps back in the game of diplomatic chess” it had to take Putin by surprise.
“The most important thing is to make sanctions – economic and financial sanctions – that are tough enough and last long enough to reduce the ability of the Russian state to fund the Russian military. And that means we have to be prepared to dig long-term.
The Conservative Party is also under increasing pressure to sever ties with Russian oligarchs who have donated more than £2m to the party. On Wednesday, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lammy said there were “too many links between Russian oligarchs” and donations to the Conservative party.
“Give it back [and] send a message that we are serious,” Lammy told Kay Burley on Sky News. “He sends a statement. If the money is tied to Russia, if there is any suggestion that some of it is from oligarchs who might be close to Putin, return the money.
But Truss told Today the accusation that the UK was not being tougher on Russia because the Conservative party received donations from people close to Putin’s regime was “completely false”.
Asked by Burley on Sky News if the party would return the donations, Truss dodged the question and said all donations had been made by British citizens and had been properly declared. Pushed on whether oligarch Roman Abramovich faced sanctions, as Johnson told parliament, Truss said the prime minister had “misspoken” and the file would be corrected.
When asked if the Champions League final – which will be held in Saint Petersburg on June 10 – should take place in Russia in light of the crisis in Ukraine, Truss replied: “I am very clear that it shouldn’t be.”