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News Item: UK, EU coordinate over more Russian sanctions

Britain and the European Union on Wednesday announced coordinated sanctions against pro-Moscow separatists in Ukraine, as well as more Russian oligarchs and their relatives.

The UK government said that, in coordination with the EU, it is sanctioning “178 Russian separatists” in eastern Ukraine, in addition to six more oligarchs and their families and employees.

“This comes after multiple reports last week that Russia was barbarically targeting civilians in those regions,” Britain’s Foreign Office said in a statement.

Those on the latest sanctions list include Alexander Ananchenko and Sergey Kozlov, described by the Foreign Office as “self-styled” leaders of the Russia-backed so-called Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

“In the wake of horrific rocket attacks on civilians in Eastern Ukraine, we are today sanctioning those who prop up the illegal breakaway regions and are complicit in atrocities against the Ukrainian people,” said Foreign Secretary Liz Truss.

“We will continue to target all those who aid and abet (President Vladimir) Putin’s war.”

Further oligarchs hit by sanctions include Vagit Alekperov, the head of Russian oil giant Lukoil, and Vladimir Ievtouchenkov, chairman of the Sistema conglomerate.

Britain is taking part in an international effort to punish Russia with asset freezes, travel bans and sanctions, after Putin ordered the assault on Ukraine on February 24.

Those sanctions have so far targeted Russian defence, trade and transport companies.

– Abramovich assets frozen –

Truss said the latest package would include extending a UK import ban on Russian goods, to include iron and steel from Thursday.

“We will not rest in our mission to stop Putin’s war machine in its tracks,” Truss said.

London has sanctioned more than 1,400 individuals and businesses linked to Russia — including more than 100 oligarchs and their family members — since Moscow’s military offensive began.

Separately on Wednesday, the UK Crown dependency of Jersey revealed that it has frozen more than $7.0 billion (6.4 billion euros) in assets believed to be linked to billionaire oligarch Roman Abramovich.

Jersey, the largest of the Channel Islands which are located off the coast of northwestern France, is cooperating with the UK for all sanctions imposed as a result of the Ukraine conflict.

“Search warrants were executed by the States of Jersey Police on Tuesday 12 April 2022 at premises in Jersey suspected to be connected to the business activities of Roman Abramovich,” Jersey authorities said in a brief statement.

“The Royal Court also imposed a formal freezing order on 12 April… over assets understood to be valued in excess of $7.0 billion which are suspected to be connected to Mr Abramovich and which are either located in Jersey or owned by Jersey incorporated entities.”

The statement, issued by Jersey’s Law Officers’ Department, added that no further comment would be made at this stage.

The billionaire, punished for his close links to Putin, has already been forced to put Chelsea Football Club — which he bought in 2003 — up for sale.

Abramovich was also among individuals listed under sanctions adopted by the European Union in March.

Western countries including the United States and the EU have imposed unprecedented sanctions against Moscow over its assault on Ukraine.

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