UK preparing sanctions against Russian oligarchs
The Sunday Times publication learned about possible sanctions of London against oligarchs close to the Russian authorities.
The British authorities are preparing "financial measures" against Russian entrepreneurs, close to the Russian President. Persons who can fall under sanctions, according to sources of the publication in the government, have "illegal assets" in the Kingdom.
According to The Sunday Times, restrictions, in particular, will be imposed on Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg and Roman Abramovich. All three have assets in the UK.
Sources of the media outlet note that information about economic sanctions against Russian business representatives appeared shortly after it became known that the British special services were ready to commit a cyber attack against Russia in retaliation to its possible actions concerning publication of compromising materials on ministers, deputies and high-ranking officials of the United Kingdom.
This happened the day before. The newspaper wrote that Prime Minister Theresa May received from the intelligence services data collected since the Salisbury incident that Russia could gather dirt on the members of the British government. After that, May declared readiness to initiate a new investigation into Russian businessmen, who have "illegal assets" in London.
Sources of the publication called the forthcoming economic measures "extensive", saying that they will be announced "in the near future."
The Sunday Times notes that Theresa May also linked the alleged chemical attack in the Syrian Duma, to which on the night of April 14 the United States, Britain and France responded with a missile attack on Syrian chemical weapons-related facilities, "to Skripal’s case." The politician called the poisoning of the former colonel of the GRU and his daughter in Salisbury "a part of the picture of neglect of the accepted "norms of behavior."
Sanctions against Russian capitals were discussed in the British Parliament at the end of March 2018, when Theresa May agreed to consider the proposal of Tom Tugendhat, the chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British Parliament, to impose a ban on leading Western clearing houses on servicing Russian eurobonds. These restrictions, wrote The Guardian, could make it more difficult for Western investors to acquire Russian securities.
Earlier, The CrimeRussia, citing a source in London, reported that the British authorities, with the participation of the United States, were preparing new legislative amendments to the Criminal Finances Act passed last year. One of the important provisions of the law is Unexplained Wealth Orders (UWO), which allows freezing assets worth above £50.000 and initiating an investigation if their owner cannot explain from which activities they received, entered into force on January 31, 2018. On February 28, assets worth 22 million pounds of an unnamed person from Central Asia were arrested until the investigation is completed in accordance with this provision.
In early April, the United States imposed sanctions against 26 Russian oligarchs and officials, including Oleg Deripaska, Viktor Vekselberg, Suleyman Kerimov, Igor Rotenberg, Kirill Shamalov, Vladimir Bogdanov and Andrey Skoch, and on April 10 a US Federal Treasury representative, Sigal Mandelker, warned British banks against transactions with those featured in the Washington's sanctions list, saying that the US would take such actions as blocking sanctions.