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Russia announces sanctions against 18 British nationals

Russia announced new sanctions against 18 British nationals in response to the UK’s “confrontational policies” against Russia on Monday. However, the statement did not mention which particular policy the sanctions are responding to. The sanctions were made against not only the UK’s government officials but also scholars. These newly sanctioned individuals will be denied entry to Russia after the sanctions take place.

Among the 18 British nationals, nine of them hold a public office in the UK, including members of the House of Lords and military officials. The other half are British scholars, including American and Estonian scholars who have British citizenship. Extending its sanctions to academia, the Russian foreign ministry claimed that the Western educational institutions substantially contribute to the UK’s “confrontational policy” against Russia.

On the same day, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OSFI) Director Giles Thomson published an explanation statement to outline the new reporting obligations that came into effect in December 2023. The new reporting measures require relevant firms to inform OSFI of any funds or economic resources they hold for the Central Bank of Russia, Russian Ministry of Finance or Russian National Wealth Fund. Designated persons under the Russia financial sanctions regime are also required to provide details of their UK assets to OSFI. Failure to comply with the reporting obligations may be subject to a civil monetary penalty on a strict liability basis.

In December 2023, the UK government introduced the seventh trade sanctions package.  The package included an export ban on machine parts and electronics that could potentially be used for military purposes, an import ban on Russian metals, and financial assistance to support businesses that divest from Russia. The UK government estimated the new sanction package covers 70 million British pounds of exports and 67 million British pounds of imports, in addition to the 662 million British pounds of exports that have been sanctioned.