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UK widens sanctions against Russia to limit its access to military equipment

Tuesday, 8 August 2023, 15:59

James Cleverly, the UK Secretary for Foreign Affairs, announced new "landmark" sanctions aimed at diminishing Russia’s access to purchasing military equipment.

Source: UK government press release

Details: The sanctions will target 22 individuals and legal entities outside of Russia that support Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine, as well as three Russian firms that import electronics "vital to Russia’s military equipment used on the battlefield".

Among others, the sanctions will target:

  • Two Türkiye-based businesses, Turkik Union and Azu International, "for their role in exporting microelectronics to Russia that are essential for Russia’s military activity in Ukraine";
  • Dubai-based Aeromotus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Trading LLC, "for its role in supplying drones and drone components to Russia";
  • Slovakian national Ashot Mkrtychev, "for his involvement in an attempted arms deal between the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and Russia";
  • Swiss national Anselm Oskar Schmucki, "for his role in Russia’s financial services sector, including through working as Chief of the Moscow office of DuLac Capital Ltd".

The UK is also taking further action "to tackle Iran and Belarus’ support for Russia’s military", sanctioning Iranian individuals and entities involved in the research, development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) for the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Belarusian defence organisations "linked to the manufacturing of military technology for the Belarusian regime, which has directly facilitated Putin’s illegal war".

The UK is also sanctioning three Russian companies operating in the electronics sector "for their role in procuring UK-sanctioned western microelectronics that are essential for sustaining Russia’s conflict in Ukraine".

The UK government statement said that the Russian defence industry is "focused entirely on sustaining the war". Without access to Western components, the Russian military is "struggling to produce sufficient top-end equipment and is now desperately searching for foreign armaments".

"Russia is already having to mobilise soviet-era tanks and harvest kitchen freezers for low-grade chips. Today’s package tackles Russia’s attempts to circumvent and offset these clear impacts of UK and allies’ sanctions," the statement continued.

Foreign Secretary James Cleverly stressed that these "landmark sanctions will further diminish Russia’s arsenal and close the net on supply chains propping up Putin’s now struggling defence industry. There is nowhere for those sustaining Russia’s military machine to hide."

Background: The investigation of the Russian non-governmental project Verstka claims that sanctioned goods worth hundreds of billions of dollars continue to enter the Russian Federation.

On 23 June, the Council of the European Union approved the 11th package of sanctions against Russia, primarily to strengthen the previously imposed restrictions and combat Russia’s ability to circumvent sanctions via third countries.

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