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Why Boris Johnson was left red-faced by the UK’s failure to sanction Putin’s allies

The UK’s feeble efforts can be traced back to its ‘reputation as the world’s money laundering capital’, writes Rob Merrick

Saturday 05 March 2022 21:30 GMT
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‘The UK government needs to act fast or their reputation as the world’s money laundering capital will be set in stone forever’
‘The UK government needs to act fast or their reputation as the world’s money laundering capital will be set in stone forever’ (Anadolu Agency/Getty)

It was not supposed to be like this, when Boris Johnson insisted he is “leading the world” in sanctions on Russia and vowed Vladimir Putin’s cronies will have “nowhere to hide your ill-gotten gains”.

Those promises are badly tarnished as the UK languishes far behind the EU and US in targeting the powerful oligarchs who are perhaps the best hope for forcing out the war-mongering Russian president.

Only a small number of (mostly obscure) cronies have been sanctioned so far – compared with 25 by Brussels – the members of the Russian parliament continue to escape and there is no sign of a promised wider list of targets.

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