Breaking: Russia’s Central Bank makes attempt to shore up Ruble
Russia’s Central Bank has raised its key rate to an unprecedented 20 per cent in desperate bid to shore up the ruble amid crippling sanctions.
Putin’s nuclear warning distraction technique, says Defence Secretary
Russian President Vladimir Putin’s nuclear warning is a “big attempt to distract away from his troubles in Ukraine”, the Defence Secretary has said.
Putin on Sunday ordered Russia’s military to put its deterrence forces, which include nuclear weapons, on “special alert”.
Ben Wallace did not rule out Mr Putin launching a nuclear attack, and was asked on Sky News whether the Russian leader was “crazy enough” to start a nuclear conflict.
Mr Wallace told Sky News: “I think he has certainly done a lot of irrational things recently.”
He added: “I think I’m not going to speculate on what he would or wouldn’t do, but that’s why we all keep our deterrents at a state of readiness in the West.”
Boris Johnson criticises Russia Today
Boris Johnson has criticised news channel RT for “peddling” material that is “doing a lot of damage to the truth” and called for Ofcom to look at if it is “infringing the rules of this country”.
The Prime Minister, speaking at the Ukrainian Cathedral of the Holy Family on Sunday evening, said if he had the power to ban the channel he would.
It came after the EU announced it will ban the channel.
Mr Johnson said: “We have a principle in this country that we don’t allow politicians to ban this or that media organisation.
“And that’s the way we do it.
“And I think we’re better for that.
“But I’ve got to tell you that I think the stuff that RT is peddling at the moment is doing a lot of damage to the truth, and I think it’s important that Ofcom should look at it and make up its mind about whether that organisation is infringing the rules of this country.” Read the full story here.
The Russian Rouble plunged 28 per cent in early trading on Monday – a new record low – after the West imposed ever tougher sanctions on Moscow.Having announced two initial waves of sanctions last week, the US, EU and UK ratcheted up steps to punish Vladimir Putin’s regime over his assault on Ukraine.
New measures included directly sanctioning Mr Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Russia’s central bank and cutting Russian banks out of the SWIFT financial system.
Amid deep concerns over the state of the Russian economy, there have been reports of people trying to draw cash out of banks triggering fears of a run on the country’s financial institutions.
The tougher sanctions were cited as one of the reasons behind Mr Putin’s alarming move to put his defence chiefs and nuclear forces on high alert.
UK to take further measures against Putin regime
Britain said on Monday it was taking further measures against Vladimir Putin’s regime, together with the US and EU, banning British entities from undertaking transactions with the Russian central bank, finance ministry and wealth fund.
“The UK Government will immediately take all necessary steps to bring into effect restrictions to prohibit any UK natural or legal persons from undertaking financial transactions involving the CBR, the Russian National Wealth Fund, and the Ministry of Finance of the Russian Federation,” the government said.
The UK said there would be more designations announced this week.
“These measures demonstrate our determination to apply severe economic sanctions in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine,” said Chancellor Rishi Sunak.
“The Bank of England continues to take any and all actions needed to support the Government’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine,” Bank of England Governor Andrew Bailey said.
The new sanctions also include new restrictions on Russian financial institutions and measures to prevent Russian companies from issuing transferable securities and money market instruments in the UK.
Britain said it would have “a power to prevent designated banks from accessing Sterling and clearing payments through the UK.”