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What Russia’s invasion of Ukraine could mean for the UK

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Now Russian troops have invaded Ukraine, here is what that could mean for the UK.

– What sanctions has the UK imposed and what more could be done?

Since the Russian invasion of Crimea in 2014, the UK has sanctioned around 183 individuals under the Russia sanctions regime.

This includes the three oligarchs – Igor and Boris Rotenberg and Gennady Timchenko – who were added to the list on Tuesday, as well as intelligence chief Aleksandr Bortnikov.

There are also 53 entities on the sanctions list, which mainly covers Russian-backed militias in eastern Ukraine but also includes a number of companies and the five Russian banks added on Tuesday.

But a wider array of sanctions is understood to be under consideration, in line with sanctions imposed by the US and EU.

This could include sanctions on more oligarchs – for instance, Chelsea FC owner and ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Roman Abramovich – or larger banks such as Sberbank or VTB, which has already been sanctioned by the US and EU.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich, an ally of President Vladimir Putin, is one Russian oligarch who could face sanctions (Mike Egerton/PA) / PA Archive

Further sanctions will almost certainly be placed on members of Russia’s parliament, the Duma, who voted to recognise Donetsk and Luhansk as independent states, along with other politicians such as defence minister Sergey Shoygu, who is set to be sanctioned by the EU.

More severe steps against Russia thought to be under consideration include barring Russia from selling sovereign debt in the City of London, limiting its ability to import hi-tech goods, and banning Russia from the international Swift payments system.

Banning Russia from Swift would be a major blow to its banks – Conservative MP Jonathan Djanogly said on Tuesday that it would effectively return Russia to “the economic dark ages” – but is likely to be resisted by Russia’s Western creditors.

– What is the UK’s presence in Ukraine?

The UK has a limited presence in Ukraine. Up to 5,000 British citizens were estimated to be living in Ukraine before the crisis. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office has since advised all UK citizens to leave the country, but it is not known how many remain and the FCDO has declined to comment on numbers.

(PA Graphics) / PA Graphics

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