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Britain plans to broaden scope of sanctions it could apply to Russia

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The British government will introduce new legislation this week to broaden the scope of sanctions it can apply to Russia in an effort to deter aggression towards Ukraine, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss said on Sunday.

With tens of thousands of Russian troops massed near the Ukrainian border, Truss has previously refused to rule out personal sanctions against President Vladimir Putin if Russia invades Ukraine, something that Moscow denies it is planning to do.

Western countries including Britain have threatened to impose a range of new financial and economic sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine.

“What the legislation enables us to do is hit a much wider variety of targets. So there can be nobody who thinks that they will be immune to those sanctions,” Truss, who is due to visit both Ukraine and Russia in the next two weeks, told Sky News.

Previously only companies with a direct involvement in destabilising Ukraine could be targeted, she said. Under the plans to be set out this week, that would now be widened and could include Russian financial institutions, energy companies and oligarchs close to the Kremlin.

“Any company of interest to the Kremlin and the regime in Russia would be able to be targeted so there will be nowhere to hide for Putin’s oligarchs, for Russian companies involved in propping up the Russian state.” Reuters

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