Liz Truss announces full asset freeze against Russia’s biggest bank

The UK will impose a full asset freeze on Russia’s largest bank and end all imports of oil and coal by the end of the year, the foreign secretary, Liz Truss, has said.

Sanctions will also be imposed on eight more oligarchs, including Moshe Kantor, the largest shareholder of the fertiliser company Acron and Andrey Guryev, the founder of another key fertiliser company, whom the UK described as a close associate of Vladimir Putin.

Others who have been placed under sanctions include Sergey Sergeyevich Ivanov, president of the world’s largest diamond producer, Alrosa, and Leonid Mikhelson, the founder and CEO of the leading Russian natural gas producer Novatek, with a net worth of £18bn.

The announcement came alongside similar measures from western allies including the EU which has also banned imports of Russian coal. The US announced it was also imposing sanctions against Sberbank, Russian’s largest bank, along with the UK.

The UK will impose asset freezes on Sberbank and Credit Bank of Moscow and put in place an outright ban on all new outward investment in Russia, which was worth £11bn in 2020.

By the end of 2022, the UK would end all dependency on Russian coal and oil, the sanctions announcement said, with a pledge to end imports of gas “as soon as possible thereafter”.

Export bans will also be put in place on key oil refining equipment as well as a ban on imports of iron and steel products.

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