Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has today called on the government to freeze and begin seizing the assets of Putins’ cronies in the UK, as part of a tough package of measures responding to Russia sending troops into Ukraine.
It comes after Boris Johnson announced the government would be sanctioning just three Russian high net-worth individuals, falling way short of the number believed to be allied with Putin and holding assets in the UK.
Ed Davey has also backed a boycott of international sporting and cultural events hosted in Russia, starting with moving this year’s Champions League final from St Petersburg. The Liberal Democrats have written to the government asking them to prepare Wembley in the event of the final being moved.
Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said: “The government’s initial sanctions list doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. It only targets three individuals while leaving many of Putin’s cronies off the hook.
The sanctions announced on Tuesday involved five small banks, which had their assets frozen, and three individuals. Meanwhile, Germany paused the massive Nord Stream 2 development, leading to a major fall in the value of the Russian stock market.
“It’s time to use the full force of sanctions powers at our disposal and start treating Putin’s Russia like the rogue state it is. That should start with action to freeze and seize the assets of every single one of Putin’s cronies in the UK – and then expelling those oligarchs from this country.
“We should also make clear we will no longer tolerate international sporting or cultural events hosted in Russia, starting with this year’s Champions League final which must be moved from St Petersburg.
“Boris Johnson must recognise the existential threat posed by Putin to our NATO allies, by immediately cancelling his government’s misguided decision to cut our armed forces by 10,000 troops.
“For too long, this government has turned a blind eye to Putin’s oligarch friends who have treated this country as their playground. Putin has made a terrible decision, we must ensure he pays a terrible price.”