Britain imposed sanctions on Gennady Timchenko and two other billionaires with close links to Vladimir Putin. This is after the Russian president deployed military forces into two breakaway regions of eastern Ukraine. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said that Russia was heading towards pariah status.
The world must now brace for the next stage of Putin’s plan. The Kremlin was laying the ground for a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. He told parliament that five banks such as Rossiya, IS Bank, GenBank, Promsvyazbank and the Black Sea Bank were being sanctioned, along with three people – Timchenko, and the brothers Igor and Boris Rotenberg. But the Conservative prime minister refrained from targeting Russia’s biggest state banks, cutting off capital for Russian companies or ejecting other prominent so-called Russian oligarchs from Britain.
Johnson stated that it is absolutely vital that they hold in reserve further powerful sanctions in view of what President Putin may do next. Of the five targeted banks only Promsvyazbank is on the Russian central bank‘s list of systemically important credit institutions. Shares in Russia’s two largest lenders, Sberbank and VTB reversed early losses to trade higher after escaping the British sanctions. The British government said that Timchenko was a major shareholder in Bank Rossiya.
Bank Rossiya has supported the consolidation of Crimea into the Russian Federation by integrating the financial system. Timchenko is a close ally of Putin, as are the Rotenbergs, Johnson said. Hundreds of billions of dollars have flowed into London and Britain’s overseas territories from Russia. This is since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Also, Johnson stated that they want to stop Russian companies from being able to raise funds in sterling or indeed in dollars.
Britain’s initial package goes little further than what the United States did in 2014 and 2018. The opposition Labour Party lawmaker Liam Byrne said that the risk is that today’s slap on the wrist will not deter anything. The prime minister’s got to recognise that pulling their punches does not work with President Putin. A Western official, said that Britain would also limit Russian access to sovereign debt markets and its ability to clear transactions.
The U.S. Treasury said in 2014 that Bank Rossiya shareholders included members of Putin’s inner circle. Also, Boris Rotenberg had amassed a fortune under Putin. Johnson saluted German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s decision to halt the Nord Stream 2 pipeline despite Europe’s reliance on Russian energy supplies. He later spoke to French President Emmanuel Macron and they agreed they needed to work in lockstep to target Russian individuals and entities bankrolling President Putin’s aggressive approach. Former Conservative Party leader Iain Duncan Smith asked Johnson to go further on sanctions and also said that China would be watching the West’s response carefully.