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UK to personally sanction Putin and foreign minister ‘imminently’ – Johnson

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The Prime Minister told Nato leaders in a virtual meeting on Friday that the UK would echo measures announced by the EU to target the Russian leader.

Referring to Mr Putin’s wish to recover territory which previously fell under the USSR, he said Russia was “engaging in a revanchist mission to overturn the post-Cold War order”.

Mr Johnson told allies “the UK would introduce sanctions against President Putin and foreign minister Sergei Lavrov imminently, on top of the sanctions package the UK announced yesterday”, according to a No 10 spokesman.

“He warned the group that the Russian president’s ambitions might not stop there and that this was a Euro-Atlantic crisis with global consequences,” he said.

The Prime Minister also used the meeting to urge “immediate action” over the banning of Russia from the Swift payment system to “inflict maximum pain” on the Kremlin.

In a further move, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps announced he is extending a ban on Aeroflot flights landing in the UK to cover Russian private jets.

The move to sanction President Putin and Mr Lavrov comes after the European Union announced it was considering a similar move against the two men as it set out its latest round of measures in concert with the US and the UK.

The Government has faced criticism that it has still not gone far enough despite measures to hit five further oligarchs, and targeting more than 100 businesses and individuals.

With Russian forces continuing to advance towards Kyiv, beleaguered Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky said sanctions had so far done nothing to deter the Russian onslaught.

Meanwhile Western officials have warned that the Russians could resort to thermobaric weapons – used to generate powerful, high-temperature explosions – if the Ukrainian military resistance continues to hold up their assault.

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