Britain threatens to sanction Russia’s oligarchs if Ukraine is invaded

The British government has warned Russia that it needs to “withdraw from the brink” and stop the possibility of invasion of Ukraine. Otherwise, the Kremlin-related oligarchs may be subject to sanctions.

Downing Street said Prime Minister Boris Johnson would speak with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday afternoon and visit Ukraine on Tuesday to meet with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky.

“Russia needs to get out of the crisis,” Johnson told President Putin during his visit to Tilbury on Monday, saying that the invasion of Ukraine would be “a disaster for Russia.”

He said Britain upheld Ukraine’s “territorial sovereignty” and believed that Ukrainians “violently” protected the country from aggression.

10 Downing Street said the Prime Minister would instruct Putin to “walk the diplomatic path” and avoid “very expensive” military operations in Ukraine.

“Our goal is to continue to encourage Russia to follow the diplomatic path, escalate, and retreat from the very expensive exercises if it follows the path of further invasion,” said the Prime Minister’s official spokesman. “.

A spokesman warned the Russian elite that they would suffer the consequences. “The Russian elite is undoubtedly of great power, and if they continue on the path of this aggression, they will put a lot of pressure on them,” he said.

Foreign Minister Liz Truss said on Sunday that the British government would change sanctions rules to expand the scope of measures applicable to Russia to thwart attacks on Ukraine.

She said London should be able to target “any company interested in the Kremlin and the Russian government” and “there would be no place to hide Putin’s oligarchs.”

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said the threat of such measures would be a backfire attack on Russian companies, as it would hurt British and Western shareholders.

“We rarely see or hear direct threats that attack our business,” Peskov said. “Attack on Russian business by a particular country means retaliation, and these measures will be formulated in our interests as needed.”

Ukraine welcomed Britain’s harsh discussions on sanctions and said it was an important way to stop Russia’s aggression.

Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba said, “I noticed that Russian officials were talking abroad about their assets, real estate and money, and that Russian patriots kept them, the Kremlin’s hothead. Will get cold. “

Reuters and PA Media contributed to this report.

Alexander Chan