UK imposes sanctions on 386 Russian parliamentarians who backed Putin over Ukraine

Duma voted in favour of Russian military presence in Ukrainian sovereign territory

Andrew Woodcock
Political Editor
Friday 11 March 2022 14:50
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Ukrainian mother describe the horrors of escaping Russian invasion

The UK has imposed sanctions on 386 members of the Russian parliament who voted in favour of Vladimir Putin’s actions in breakaway regions of Ukraine, foreign secretary Liz Truss has announced.

The new measures will ban those listed from travelling to the UK, accessing assets held within the UK and doing business here.

All are members of the Duma lower house of the Russian parliament who voted last month in favour of the ratification of treaties recognising the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions and authorising the permanent presence of Russian military.

The vote has been used by Putin as a pretext for his unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, now in its 15th day.

Plans to sanction the Duma members were announced shortly after the invasion but were delayed by legislation requiring an individual legal case to be drawn up against each of them.

Challenged today over why the move had taken so long, when the same individuals were sanctioned by the EU on 22 February, a Downing Street spokesperson said the government wanted to ensure they had a “watertight cases” on all. It had been established that each “aided and abetted” Putin’s assault on Ukraine, he said.

The spokesperson declined to say whether No 10 was aware of any of the individuals holding assets in the UK, but confirmed they would be allowed to travel to Britain.

Ms Truss said: “We’re targeting those complicit in Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine and those who support this barbaric war. We will not let up the pressure and will continue to tighten the screw on the Russian economy through sanctions.

“Together with our allies, we stand firmly beside our Ukrainian friends. We will continue to support Ukraine with humanitarian aid, defensive weapons and diplomatic work to isolate Russia internationally.”

Ms Truss added: We mean what we say. With our allies and partners, we will cripple the Russian economy and cut off Putin’s war machine.”

Labour’s shadow foreign secretary David Lammy responded: "Labour welcomes that the Government has finally imposed sanctions on members of the Duma, but this should have happened weeks ago.

"Ministers must urgently implement the other sanction measures Labour has been calling for to cut Putin and his criminal cronies out of our economic system."

The move follows Thursday’s blacklisting of Putin-linked oligarchs including Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich.

It brings the total number of individuals, entities and subsidiaries sanctioned by the UK since the 24 February invasion to more than 500, including 18 oligarchs with a combined worth in excess of £30bn.

The treaties of “friendship, cooperation and mutual assistance” between the Russian Federation and the so-called people’s republics of Lugansk and Donetsk were presented to the State Duma on 22 February by Putin and unanimously approved.

They involved the recognition - without Ukraine’s agreement - of independent republics in areas of Ukrainian sovereign territory where separatist groups have been fighting to break away from Kyiv since the 2014 war which saw Russia seize Crimea.

The Duma’s speaker Vyacheslav Volodin said at the time of the vote: “This is the only way to protect people, stop the fratricidal war, prevent a humanitarian catastrophe and bring peace.”

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