As published on sharecast.com, Wednesday 8 July, 2020.
Britain imposed sanctions on 25 Russians and 20 Saudis on Monday as part of post-Brexit measures that were aimed at cracking down on the laundering of “blood money”.
They are the first foreign and trade measures, including asset freezes, which Britain has undertaken independently from Europe.
Foreign minister Dominic Raab pressed for tough sanctions and set out the first names in parliament, including those of Russian nationals Britain says were involved in the mistreatment and death of lawyer Sergei Magnitsky and Saudis involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
“If you’re a kleptocrat or an organised criminal, you will not be able to launder your blood money in this country,” Raab told parliament.
“Today this government [...] sends a very clear message on behalf of the British people that those with blood on their hands, the thugs and despots, the henchmen and dictators, will not be free to waltz into this country to buy up property on the King’s Road, to do their Christmas shopping in Knightsbridge, or frankly to siphon dirty money through British banks or other financial institutions.”
The biggest Russian name on the list of people sanctioned is Alexander Bastrykin, whose Investigative Committee reports directly to President Vladimir Putin.
According to Reuters, Russia said it would respond to the new measures. The Saudi government media office and Foreign Ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“It is particularly outrageous that the senior representatives of the General Prosecution and the Investigative Committee of the Russian Federation as well as judges were included in the sanctions list,” RIA news agency cited a Russian embassy spokesman in London as saying.