Polina Dukhanova & Alena Medvedeva
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said that London’s sanctions would “paralyze” the Russian economy and slow down its development. She also stressed that the British authorities in their actions against Moscow will not stop until they achieve complete degradation of the Russian economy. In addition, London imposed sanctions against Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Foreign Min-ister Sergei Lavrov. How-ever, as the Russian em-bassy in the United Kin-gdom noted earlier, Lond-on would initiate restrictions against Russia in any case, since it is not interested in resolving the crisis in Ukraine. Experts believe that the UK is trying to be at the forefront of anti-Russian politics in order to earn more political points on the world stage and establish itself as one of the world leaders.
British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, in an article for The Telegraph newspaper, said that new British sanctions would cause irreparable harm to Russia. “By cutting off major fi-nancial flows by billions of pounds, we are paralyzing Russia’s economic development in both the short and long term,” Truss wrote.
She added that, together with allies, the possibility of such a measure as disconnecting Russia from the global interbank system for transmitting information and making payments SWIFT is being explored.
Truss also outlined the UK’s leadership role in helping Ukraine and consolidating Western countries in response to Russia.
“With the stakes so high, the UK will lead efforts to mobilize international support for Ukraine and, toge-ther with our allies, deliver a powerful response,” the minister stressed.
According to her, in the near future she will begin a round of shuttle diplomacy in Europe and the United States in order to form a unified, decisive and firm response to the actions of the Russian Federation.
“The time has come for a pragmatic approach, which implies a willingness to accept short-term difficulties in order to achieve a goal in the long term, realizing that for Putin the difficulties will be much more painful,” the head of the United Kingdom Foreign Ministry is sure.
In particular, the British government imposed sanctions against Russian Presi-dent Vladimir Putin and Fo-reign Minister Sergei Lavrov. In addition to the article in The Telegraph, Liz Truss also released a statement, which was posted on the website of the British Foreign Office. It speaks of London’s intention to continue to put pressure on Russia, which, according to the head of British diplomacy, has now become a pariah on the world stage.
“We will not rest until we achieve the degradation of the Russian economy and the restoration of the sovereignty and territorial integr-ity of Ukraine,” Truss said.
Recall that the UK has introduced two packages of anti-Russian sanctions. The country’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced the first during a speech in Parliament on February 22 in connection with Russia ‘s recognition of the sovereignty of the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics (DPR and LPR). Five Russian banks fell under the restrictions – Promsvyazbank, Rossiya, Industrial Savings Bank, Black Sea Bank for Development and Reconstruction, Genbank, as well as three businessmen – Gennady Timchenko, Boris and Igor Rotenberg.
“All UK assets owned by the listed individuals and entities will be frozen; Individuals will also be banned from entering the country and we will prohibit all UK citizens and entities from doing business with them,” Johnson said.
The second package of restrictions was introduced by the British authorities on February 24 as a response to a special operation to protect the Donbass, which Russia launched after turning to it for help from the leadership of the DNR and LNR. Restrictions were extended to VTB , Rostec, Uralvagonzavod, the United Shipbuilding Corpo-ration and the Tactical Missiles Corporation.
The British sanctions also include the revocation of export licenses to Russia for a number of high-tech and dual-use goods used in sectors such as electronics, telecommunications and aerospace.
The restrictions will affect 100 individuals and companies, including businessman Kirill Shamalov, one of the top managers of VTB Denis Bortnikov, CE-O of the United Aircraft Corporation Yuri Slyusar and chairman of Proms-vyazbank, which is under sanctions, Pyotr Fradkov.
In addition, Aeroflot was banned from operating flights to the UK. In this regard, the contract with her was terminated by the B-ritish football club Manch-ester United, whose official carrier was Aeroflot. London has also set a limit of £50,000 on the amount of money that Russian citizens can keep in British bank accounts.
Meanwhile, the Russian side stated that it had already prepared retaliatory sanctions against countries that introduced restrictions against Moscow. As Federation Council Speaker Valentina Matviyenko clarified on February 25 in a conversation with reporters, the retaliatory measures will not be mirrored, but Moscow “is well aware of the weaknesses of the West.” She also stressed that the Russian Federation managed to thoroughly prepare for the moment when the US and Europe introduce their own restrictions.
“We were threatened with sanctions in such detail that we, of course, had time to qualitatively prepare for their announcement. And the government of the Russian Federation took all safety mechanisms in advance, worked out all the threats that come from sanctions, and protective measures for the country,” Matvienko said.
In particular, the Federal Air Transport Agency on the same day banned the UK from flying over the territory of Russia. Aircraft connected in any way with the United Kingdom will not be able to use the airspace of the Russian Federation even for transit flights. The federal agency also noted that the day before they had offered the British side to hold consultations on this issue, but received a negative response from it.
At the same time, on February 22, at the Russian embassy in the United Kingdom, the London sanctions were called illegitimate from the point of view of international law.
“We have no illusions about the direction of the efforts of British diplomacy, carried out in a narrow circle of like-minded people. London has little interest in resolving the crisis in Ukraine. He seeks more to earn political points by escalating tension, ”a representative of the diplomatic mission told TASS on February 22. According to him, the imposition of sanctions was predetermined and London would have used this tool in any case.
Experts interviewed by RT note that the current rhetoric of the British establishment suggests that London is trying in every possible way to emphasize its importance in the international arena. After all, modern Great Britain, after many years of membership in the European Union, is in “independent swimming” for only a year. Therefore, today its authorities seek to demonstrate to the rest of the world that they have influence and are still capable of pursuing their own foreign policy. In addition, as political scientists note, in this way they are trying to win back the area of ????influence in Europe from the United States, and the most convenient tool for this is Ukraine.
“Ukraine has become a bargaining chip in the hands of major Western players. Initially, the United States began to promote it, but then they somewhat lost their positions to the British. At the same time, Great Britain is not interested in stabilizing the situation in the country and is not going to fight for it. Therefore, despite the active supply of weapons from outside, Kyiv was left alone with its problems, ”Natalya Eremina, professor at the Department of European Studies at the Faculty of International Relations at St. Petersburg State University, explained in an interview with RT.
According to her, London, blaming Russia for all the sins, in every way pandered to Kiev, which did not want to resolve the situation in the Donbass. According to Eremina, even the promises of the British to help Ukraine restore its naval forces were made with the expectation of gaining some kind of access to the Black Sea.
“Therefore, whatever Russia does, even if there were no military operation, would still lead to the current outcome. After all, Britain is now looking for new political unions that would bring economic dividends. And best of all, such alliances are concluded in the face of a common enemy, ”says Eremina.
In turn, the head of the Center for British Studies at the Institute of Europe of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Elena Ananyeva, believes that the current Western sanctions, including British ones, are unlikely to be fatal for Russia.
“Russia prepared in advance for such a development of events. The current special operation in Ukraine would never have started if the leadership had not calculated its possible consequences. In addition, Russia is able to respond to the same Great Britain with no less sensitive sanctions. Not to mention the fact that all anti-Russian restrictions have the opposite effect, ”Ananyeva said in an interview with RT.
A similar point of view is shared by Natalya Eremina. She recalled that Russia is an integral part of the global economic chains.
“Practically any product produced in the modern world can be called international. In particular, we are talking about the production of individual elements of various technically complex categories of goods. Therefore, it is simply impossible to imagine that Russia will be completely excluded from these economic chains,” concluded Eremina.