The UK Government Stands with Ukraine
Russia’s appalling assault on Ukraine is an unprovoked, premeditated attack against a sovereign democratic state. We have been clear all along that there would be a severe cost for any further Russian military incursion into Ukraine. We stand with the Ukrainian people in this dark hour. Even beyond the measures announced, we are prepared to take further measures to hold Russia to account for its attack on Ukraine and help those affected. February 2022
***UPDATE - Six-Point Plan to Support Ukraine (06/03/2022)***
The Prime Minister has set out his six-point plan for making sure Putin fails: Mobilising an international humanitarian coalition for Ukraine; supporting Ukraine in its efforts to provide for its own self-defence; maximising the economic pressure on Putin’s regime; preventing the creeping normalisation of what Russia is doing in Ukraine; pursuing diplomatic paths to de-escalation on the basis of full participation by the legitimate government of Ukraine; and beginning a rapid campaign to strengthen security and resilience across the Euro-Atlantic area.
It is not enough to express our support for the rules-based international order – we must defend it against a sustained attempt to rewrite the rules by military force. Putin must fail and must be seen to fail in this horrific act of aggression.
Help for the Ukrainian People
We have pledged almost £400 million in aid to Ukraine in total, helping with the response to the humanitarian situation and strengthening Ukrainian defences. We are providing a £120 humanitarian aid package to help aid agencies respond to the deteriorating situation, an additional £100 million in aid announced, £74 million to support the Ukrainian government directly and a £100 million economic package to support Ukraine, including helping them to reduce their reliance on Russian energy supplies.
We have also announced an additional $100 million in support for Ukraine through the World Bank. This additional $100m is directly allocated to the Ukrainian government budget to mitigate financial pressures created by Russia’s unprovoked and illegal invasion. This grant could be used to support public sector salaries, allowing critical state functions to keep operating, as well as to support social safety nets and pensions for the Ukrainian people. The UK is proving this support through a World Bank Multi-Donor Trust Fund established this week to support the Ukrainian government. This support builds on the UK aid already reaching those who need it most and supporting the Ukrainian Government.
We are guaranteeing up to $500 million of Ukrainian Development Bank financing, injecting vital capital into Ukraine and helping its economy weather the storm of Russian aggression. We stand ready to offer guarantees of Multilateral Development Bank (MDB) lending for projects that will support economic stability and vital reforms such as tackling anti-corruption.
The Government is laying emergency regulations (21/03/22) so those arriving in the UK from Ukraine as a result of the Russian invasion can access Universal Credit and jobs support immediately. Ukrainians will also be eligible for Housing Benefit, Pension Credit, Personal Independence Payment, Child Disability Living Allowance and Carers Allowance, and Attendance Allowance. Contributions-based Employment and Support Allowance (ESA), and Jobseekers Allowance (JSA) are also available for those Ukrainians who meet the criteria. Translation services are available to help new arrivals with phone applications, with Work Coaches in DWP Jobcentres on hand to support people making claims online, and DWP staff are also delivering additional face-to-face assistance to those who need it – including tailored support to find work and advice on benefit eligibility – and will continue to do so.
The UK is set to provide £2 million in vital food supplies for areas of Ukraine encircled by Russian forces. We have announced £2 million of aid for vital resources – including dried food, tinned goods, and water – to towns and cities encircled by Russian forces, and around 25 truckloads will be transported to these areas from early next week. The announcement comes following a direct request from the government of Ukraine, with the UK funding a rapid donation of dried food, tinned goods and water.
We are allowing all Ukrainians arriving in England to access our NHS and other public services free of charge, ensuring they can get the care and support they need. As part of the UK’s offer to Ukrainians coming to the UK, we have committed to providing full access to a range of public services, including doctors, schools and full local authority support. They will also be offered COVID-19 vaccines and medical screenings. The new legislative measures introduced will ensure Ukrainians who are in the UK lawfully can access the NHS on a similar basis as other UK residents.
The UK is sending more life-saving medical supplies to Ukraine today (23/03/22), with the 12th flight on its way to the region. From vital medicines to intensive care equipment, we have provided more than 4 million items of essential medical supplies and medicines to help the people of Ukraine. We will continue to provide support to Ukraine and another flight is expected this week.
The UK has also deployed humanitarian teams to the region to bolster the UK’s support to Ukraine’s neighbours who are receiving and supporting the increasing flow of refugees fleeing the country. FCDO Humanitarian Field Teams are in Poland, Romania and Moldova. The UK Emergency Medical Team (EMT) Assessment Team has deployed to Romania and went to Moldova on 7 March. The team will assess medical needs and the role that the UK EMT could play in supporting the region, based on identified need and where UK health expertise can add value.
We are bringing 21 Ukrainian children with cancer to the UK to receive NHS care, bringing the most vulnerable to safety. We are bringing some of the most vulnerable in Ukraine to safety, including 21 Ukrainian children with cancer and their immediate family members who have been brought to the UK to receive lifesaving treatment through the NHS.
The UK will donate more than 500 mobile generators to help keep the lights on in Ukraine. They will provide much needed energy to essential facilities across Ukraine, including hospitals, shelters and water treatment plants which have lost power during the ongoing Russian invasion.
Leading a campaign of diplomatic engagement alongside our international allies, combining dialogue with deterrence. Over recent months we have led calls from G7, NATO and the OSCE to urge Russia to desist from its reckless and destabilising activities, as well as raising these issues directly with the Kremlin.
Boosting the BBC World Service with £4.1 million in emergency funding, supporting its Ukrainian and Russian language services to counter disinformation and expose Putin’s lies. We are providing £4.1 million in extra funding to the BBC world service to cover urgent and unexpected costs that have arisen as a result of the conflict – allowing the BBC’s Russian and Ukrainian language services to continue playing a valuable role in challenging the Kremlin’s disinformation.
Military Support for Ukraine
We led the way on military support for Ukraine as the first country to supply them with lethal military aid, helping them prepare for Russia’s invasion. We were the first country to support Ukraine with lethal aid when we provided them with a defensive support package in January that included 2,000 light, anti-armour weapons for defensive use against Russian tanks as well as a small number of UK personnel who provided initial training to Ukrainian military personnel.
We will be providing a further package of military support to Ukraine – on top of the support we have already provided. This new package will include lethal aid in the form of defensive weapons, and non-lethal aid such as body armour and helmets, which will help bolster their resistance against invading Russian forces.
Committing 1,000 more British troops to be put at readiness to support NATO and allies in the event of a humanitarian crisis. These troops are at readiness in the UK to support a humanitarian response in the region should it be needed. The Prime Minister has called on international partners to demonstrate their solidarity with NATO allies who bear the brunt of Russian aggression.
Doubling the size of our deployment in Estonia and making it clear that we are willing to send more British forces to help protect our allies if NATO makes such a request. We have doubled the number of personnel in Estonia, where the British Army leads NATO’s battlegroup, and we are sending additional equipment, including tanks and armoured fighting vehicles.
Announcing a major military support package including 6,000 defensive missiles and £25 million for the Ukrainian military, doubling our lethal aid to help Ukraine fight off Russian aggression. We are providing an additional 6,000 missiles, consisting of anti-tank and high explosive weapons, more than doubling the defensive lethal aid we have provided to more than 10,000 missiles – alongside £25 million in support for the Ukrainian military, to help them pay salaries and purchase new equipment.
We supplied Ukraine with light anti-tank weapons, increasing their defensive capabilities against threatening behaviour. In January, a defensive support package supplied Ukraine with 2,000 light, antiarmour weapons for defensive use against Russian tanks, as well as a small number of UK personnel who provided initial training to Ukrainian military personnel.
We are increasing military aid deliveries and sending Javelin anti-tank missiles to Ukraine, providing them with the weapons and equipment they need to fight off the Kremlin’s war machine. We are increasing supplies of rations, medical equipment and other non-lethal aid to Ukraine and will shortly be starting the delivery of Javelin anti-tank missiles, on top of the 3,615 NLAW anti-tank missiles already provided, as well as exploring the donation of Starstreak high-velocity manned portable anti-air missiles.
We provided Ukraine with 3,615 anti-tank missiles so far, as we continue to step up deliveries of lethal aid to support their battle against Russian aggression. We led the way as the first country to provide lethal military aid to Ukraine and we have now delivered 3,615 NLAW anti-tank missiles so far as well as rations, medical equipment and other non-lethal military aid, with supplies continuing to increase.
We supplied Ukraine with defensive equipment to complement Operation Orbital training and build on the £2.2 million of non-lethal equipment provided since 2015. In February, in response to a request from the Ukrainian Government, we provided additional defensive equipment including body armour, helmets and combat boots, to complement the training provided by the UK and our allies – building on the £2.2 million in non-lethal military equipment we have provided since 2015.
We trained over 22,000 Ukrainian troops through Operation Orbital, providing them with the skills they need to defend their country. Since 2015, the UK has helped build the resilience and capacity of the Armed Forces of Ukraine through Operation ORBITAL which has trained around 22,000 Ukrainian troops, giving them the skills they need to take on Russian aggression, including operational planning, urban siege training and countering attacks from snipers and armed vehicles.
UK forces have arrived in eastern Europe, bolstering NATO’s eastern flank. Royal Navy ships, British Army troops, and Royal Air force fights are arriving on new deployments in Eastern Europe - alongside our NATO Allies, these deployments constitute a credible deterrent to stop Russian aggression threatening the territorial sovereignty of member states.
We are deploying high-tech anti-air missile systems and 100 extra military personnel to Poland, stepping up our defensive support for a key ally in Eastern Europe. We are bilaterally deploying the Sky Sabre medium-range anti-air missile system and 100 extra military personnel to Poland at the request of the Polish government – bringing the total number of British troops in Poland to 700.
We have deployed additional Typhoon jets to patrol NATO airspace, protecting our allies in the region. On the 17 February, four additional UK Typhoon jets were deployed to Cyprus, and jets from Cyprus and the UK are they are now patrolling NATO airspace over Romania and Poland alongside NATO allies with Voyager air-to-air refuelling aircraft in support.
We are stepping up our patrols of the Eastern Mediterranean, with HMS Trent and airborne forces set to be joined by HMS Diamond. HMS Trent is patrolling the Eastern Mediterranean and conducting NATO exercises with Merlin Helicopters and RAF Maritime Patrol Aircraft. They will be shortly joined by HMS Diamond, a Type 45 destroyer, which set sail from Portsmouth on the 26 February.
We are taking part in the largest Arctic military exercises in 30 years, demonstrating our ability to support our allies even in the harshest environments. 2,000 UK military personnel, six RAF jets and six Royal Navy ships, including the HMS Prince of Wales aircraft carrier which is currently NATO’s command ship, have joined allied forces from 27 nations to take part in Exercise Cold Response, the largest Arctic military exercise in 30 years.
Visa Support for Ukrainians
There is a number of ways the Home Office is supporting Ukrainians at this time. The Home Secretary has confirmed that Ukrainians who are on work, study or visit visas in the UK will have their visas temporarily extended or be able to switch onto different visa routes. This builds on immediate support provided in recent weeks to assist British Nationals and their families to leave Ukraine. This included temporarily waiving application fees for those eligible under the Family Migration route, allowing entry for 12 months for others who did not meet the requirements and fast-tracking visas through a 24/7 helpline.
The Home Office's priority remains supporting British Nationals and their families who want to leave Ukraine and UKVI are working around the clock to process visa applications. The Government has surged staff to visa application centres. Dependants of British Nationals resident in Ukraine who need a UK visa can apply through the new, temporary location in Lviv or through a Visa Application Centre in nearby countries, including Poland, Moldova, Romania and Hungary.
We are streamlining the Ukraine Family Scheme so that Ukrainians with passports can get permission to come here online, speeding up the application process. As of Tuesday 15 March, Ukrainians with passports coming to the UK under the Ukraine Family Scheme can apply online – speeding up the application process and making sure they can get to safety quickly. We are also allowing Ukrainians with passports to give their biometrics once in Britain, keeping the British people safe. Allowing Ukrainians with passports to give their biometrics once in Britain means we can continue to conduct vital security checks – preventing a small minority who seek to harm the UK from doing so – while alleviating pressure on Visa Application Centres across Europe.
The UK has multiple official visa routes available for Ukrainians who are not dependents of British Nationals. Ukrainians who reach neighbouring countries can access UK Visa Application Centres there. The UK will also be partnering up with some of the countries in the immediate vicinity of Ukraine to help bring people over.
We are increasing capacity and alleviating pressure on Visa Application Centres, making sure that as many Ukrainians as possible can be processed quickly. Allowing Ukrainians with passports to submit applications online will alleviate pressure on Visa Application Centres so they can focus on helping those without passports. We have also increased the capacity at these Centres to 13,000 appointments per week.
The Government will also establish a humanitarian sponsorship pathway, allowing individuals, charities, businesses and community groups to support displaced Ukrainians. Our humanitarian sponsorship pathway will open up a route to the UK for Ukrainians who may not have family ties with the UK but who are able to match with individuals, charities, businesses, and community groups, allowing them to volunteer to support Ukrainians in need.
The Government has confirmed there will be no limit to the number of Ukrainian refugees who can live with UK host families under a new Homes for Ukraine refugee scheme. Hosts will receive £350 a month, more details will be set out later..,
The Government has deployed extra Home Office staff to Poland, Hungary and Moldova, allowing us to rapidly process visas for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict. Expert Home Office staff have travelled to Poland to ensure rapid visa service, building on previous increases in capacity in Poland, Hungary, and Moldova. A new pop-up Visa Application Centre in Rzeszow, Poland, has been opened, while the combined total number of appointments in the region will increase to 6,000 from next week.
All visa routes remain under constant review and any changes to the visa policy will not compromise border security. The UK’s flexible and agile visa system allows these proportional changes to be implemented quickly while ensuring appropriate security checks remain in place. You can find out more: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/support-for-family-members-of-british-natio…
‘Homes for Ukraine’
The Government has already expanded the Family Sponsorship scheme, but we want to go further. That is why we have announced a new UK-wide sponsorship scheme, ‘Homes for Ukraine’.
This scheme, will allow people seeking sanctuary with no family ties to the UK to be sponsored by individuals or organisations who can offer them a home, such as a spare room or unoccupied residential self-contained unit. The scheme will be uncapped, open to Ukrainian nationals (and immediate family members of Ukrainian nationals). Those arriving through this scheme will be able to live and work in the UK for up to three years and also access benefits, healthcare, and other support. Our aim, through this route, is to offer a safe, warm welcome to as many arrivals as possible, based on the number of sponsors.
To view more details on the ‘Homes for Ukraine’ scheme, including sponsor requirements and how to register your interest to be a sponsor, please scroll down and view the ‘Apply to be a sponsor’ section.
The Government also knows that local councils will want to play their part in supporting people who have been through so much to feel at home in the UK, in addition to the already significant work they are doing to support those who have arrived from Afghanistan and Hong Kong. The Government is committed to working with them to achieve this and on efforts to provide a full wraparound service that also encompasses sponsors. As such, the Government will be providing substantial level of funding at a rate of £10,500 per person to local authorities, with an additional top-up for child education, to enable them to provide much wider support to families to rebuild their lives and fully integrate into communities.
Our country has a long and proud history of supporting the most vulnerable during their darkest hour. We are doing so again with Homes for Ukraine.
How Britons Can Help the People of Ukraine
***The Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) launched its Ukraine Appeal on 2 March which has now (7 March) reached over £100m, with the Government matching £25m of the public’s donations. This is our largest ever aid-match contribution, which will help DEC charities provide food, water, shelter and healthcare to refugees and displaced families.***
Staying safe online:
One simple step is to remain informed about the conflict and to be cautious about the information that’s spread on social media. Disinformation is one of Russia’s favourite weapons of war, and accidentally amplifying it can harm civilians.
English-language news outlets based in the country, such as Kyiv Independent and the New Voice of Ukraine, are covering developments on the ground as the conflict unfolds, using local journalists. The Kyiv Independent says it was created by journalists in order to defend editorial independence. This site on Twitter covers many local journalists in Ukraine.
Another easy step is to donate money. Most large international aid organizations, including UNICEF, the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR), the International Committee of the Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and the International Rescue Committee, are currently working in Ukraine and neighbouring countries, where a growing number of displaced people are fleeing.
There are several more Ukrainian charities working on the ground. Sunflower of Peace is a charity that helps paramedics and doctors and has been fundraising for supplies, which includes first aid medical tactical backpacks. United Help Ukraine focuses on providing medical supplies and humanitarian aid and raising awareness of the conflict. Voices of Children aims to help children affected by the war in eastern Ukraine, providing support through art therapy, psychologists, video storytelling and a number of other methods.
The British Red Cross has also launched an emergency appeal to help Ukraine. The charity will be updating its webpage with news on the work its team is doing, and how support will be used to help people.
Donating essential supplies & clothes:
If you would like to donate clothing and essentials to those in need in Ukraine and to refugees who will arrive in new countries with little more than a backpack or small suitcase of belongings, local donation points are popping up all over the country. Collection points in London include the North London Collection Centre, UCL School of Slavonic and East European Studies and White Eagle Club.
If you can’t find an appeal near you, but are still feeling compelled to donate clothes, contact your local charity shops to see if they are accepting normal donations. It is also important to note that monetary donations to the big humanitarian organisations will help supplies like these get to the people who need them most.
Apply to be a sponsor:
The Government will be launching a new sponsorship scheme to make sure that Ukrainians who have been forced to flee their homes have a route to safety. The scheme will match people, charities, businesses and community groups to Ukrainians who do not have family ties to the UK.
Sponsors can be of any nationality, with any immigration status, provided they have at least six months’ leave to remain within the UK. In the first phase of the scheme, sponsors will need to have a named person who they wish to sponsor. This could be a friend, or friend of friend, someone they are already connected with, or it could be someone they have been linked with by a charity, faith group or other organisation. The visa application route will go live on Friday 18 March.
We are asking that sponsors provide accommodation for a minimum of six months. We appreciate people’s generosity and know there will be costs associated with helping out – so we are offering an optional ‘thank you’ payment of £350 per month to people for up to 12 months. This thank you payment is limited to one payment per residential address. Sponsors should not charge rent. They will not be expected to cover the costs of food and living expenses, although they may wish to offer this philanthropically.
We want to minimise bureaucracy and make the process as straightforward as possible while ensuring the safety of all involved. Those arriving will therefore need to meet standard security checks. Those living in the sponsoring households will also be subject to security checks and may be subject to safeguarding checks too.
Any individual, charity, community group and business across the country can record their interest on a webpage going live today - www.gov.uk/homes-for-ukraine. They will receive updates and more information on how to apply once the scheme launches. Then on Friday 18 March, Phase One of the visa application route will open for sponsors and named contacts to apply to the scheme. Over time, we expect to see the scheme develop further to allow charities, faith groups, community groups and other organisations to act as sponsors.
Information for Sponsors:
General information and updates are available here: Essex stands with Ukraine: what you can do to help - Essex County Council
School places for Ukrainian children:
We will be supporting Ukrainian families and their sponsors to help them settle into their new communities. This includes meeting any welfare needs as well as children and young people’s educational needs.
All families arriving from Ukraine will need to follow the established process for mid-year school admissions.
ECC will work closely with schools to ensure that all children are placed in schools within a reasonable distance from their homes.
The educational needs of all children living and arriving in Essex remains our top priority and we will continue to support both families and schools with school admissions along with other needs the families may have.
The National Cyber Security Centre is not aware of any specific cyber threats to the UK in relation to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However we strongly encourage organisations and citizens to follow NCSC guidance on steps to take when the cyber threat is heightened. Visit the Cyber Aware website where you find practical steps and tools to help keep you, your family or business more secure online.
Essex County Council:
Essex County Council have also established a news update page on the ECC website, which signposts readers to the latest available information on how residents and business can contribute to humanitarian aid for Ukraine, here: Essex stands with Ukraine: what you can do to help - Essex County Council.
You may also find Essex County Councils new webpage useful for explaining the conflict to children and young people, here: Talking to children about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine - Essex County Council.
Action Against Russia
We are imposing the largest and most severe package of sanctions that Russia has ever seen alongside our international partners, and coordinating a response with our allies and partners to make sure that Russia cannot further undermine European stability.
- We will starve Russia of its access to finance. We will stop the Russian state from being able to borrow in UK markets and issue sovereign debt; block the ability of major Russian banks to operate in sterling around the world with a prohibition on clearing payments in sterling, and we will limit the amount of money Russian nationals can deposit in their UK bank accounts.
- We will expand measures to prevent key goods and technologies from being exported to Russia. We will no longer approve licences for the export of dual-use goods, with immediate effect, and ban the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components, with enabling legislation to be laid in March.
- The United Kingdom has frozen £258 billion in Russian bank assets – more than any other country as we work together with our allies to implement crushing sanctions. The UK is working together with our allies to freeze Russian bank assets. We have so far frozen a total of £258.8 billion of Russian bank assets, with £240 billion frozen by the US and £33.8 billion by the EU, as we work together to make Putin feel economic pain.
- We sanctioned more than 500 of Russia’s most significant and high-value individuals since Putin’s invasion, worth hundreds of billions of pounds. Since Russia’s invasion, the UK has sanctioned more than 500 of Russia’s most significant and high-value individuals, entities and subsidiaries, bringing the total now covered by the UK’s sanctions list to over 800.
- We will sanction over 100 more individuals and entities, including Russia’s largest bank and major defence sector organisations. We will freeze all their assets in the UK and prevent any UK entities from engaging with these organisations and individuals in the UK or overseas, and we will impose a travel ban on individuals. We are imposing an immediate full asset freeze against VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, worth £154 billion; and on Rostec, Russia’s defence giant, responsible for $13 billion of arms exports per year. We will bring in a full asset freeze on all Russian banks in days, looking to coordinate with our allies..
- We imposed sanctions on Belarus for aiding and abetting Russia’s illegal invasion – making sure the Lukashenko regime feels the economic consequences of its support for Putin. In this first tranche of sanctions on Belarus for their support of Putin’s unprovoked attack on Ukraine, four senior defence officials and 2 military enterprises have been sanctioned with immediate effect – building on the sanctions we already placed on more than 100 people and organisations in Belarus after Lukashenko’s fraudulent elections and human rights abuses.
- We are suspending tax co-operation with Russia and Belarus, starving Putin of the information and resources he needs to carry out his barbaric campaign of violence. We have suspended all exchange of tax information with Russia and Belarus under the UK’s exchange of information agreements, weakening Russia’s efforts to counter tax evasion and profit shifting by corrupt Russian elites.
- We are sanctioning eighteen leading oligarchs worth more than £30 billion, making clear that there will be no safe haven for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine. On 10 March 2022 we sanctioned seven more Russian oligarchs with a collective net worth of around £15 billion, bringing the total number of oligarchs sanctioned to 18 with a combined worth of over £30 billion – we are freezing their assets, banning them from travelling here and barring any UK citizen or company from doing business with them.1
- We are sanctioning 386 members of the Russian Duma – targeting those who supported Putin’s barbaric war. We sanctioned 386 members of the Russian Duma, the lower house of the Russian parliament, who voted to recognise the independence of the Luhansk and Donetsk regions – part of Ukrainian sovereign territory - and authorised the permanent presence of Russian military there, punishing those who provided a false pretext for Russia’s invasion.
- We will take further restrictive economic measures by targeting the Central Bank of the Russian Federation (CBR). This action is taken in concert with the US and the European Union, to prevent the CBR from deploying its foreign reserves in ways that undermine the impact of sanctions imposed by us and our allies, and to undercut its ability to engage in foreign exchange transactions to support the Russian rouble. We 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.
- Introducing 65 new sanctions on strategic industries, banks and business elites – cutting off vital industries fueling Putin’s war machine. We have announced new sanctions against a range of key strategic industries and individuals supporting Russia’s illegal invasion, including the Wagner Group of mercenaries, Russian Railways and Defence Company Kronshtadt – which produces drones – as well as Russian banks and business elites who have supported the Kremlin regime.
- We will starve the Russian state of its access to finance, preventing Putin from raising money to support his unprovoked aggression. We will stop the Russian state from being able to borrow in UK markets and issue sovereign debt; block the ability of major Russian banks to operate in sterling around the world with a prohibition on clearing payments in sterling; and we will limit the amount of money Russian nationals can deposit in their UK bank accounts.
- We are phasing out all imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of the year, cutting off a key source of funding for Putin’s regime while limiting the impact on consumers. We are phasing out all imports of Russian oil and oil products by the end of 2022, which currently supply 8% of UK demand – giving businesses enough time to ensure a smooth transition so that consumers will not be affected and working with them this year to secure further supplies.
- We are exploring options to end the UK’s imports of Russian gas while we accelerate our move towards renewable energy, in line with action taken by our international allies. We are not reliant on Russian gas as we currently import only four per cent of our gas from Russia, but the Kremlin is the largest exporter and controls the market – which is why we are focusing on generating cheaper, cleaner renewable and nuclear power and exploring options to end these imports.
- We will expand measures to prevent key goods and technologies from being exported to Russia. We will no longer approve licences for the export of dual-use goods, with immediate effect, and ban the export of a range of high-end and critical technical equipment and components, with enabling legislation to be laid in March.
- We are working in lock step with allies to exclude Russian banks from the SWIFT financial system. We have committed to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system, ensuring they are disconnected from the international financial system, and harming their ability to operate globally.
- We are massively increasing tariffs on £900 million of Russian goods including vodka – starving Putin’s regime of funds. Hundreds of key Russian products, including vodka will be hit with new import tariffs that represent a 35 percentage point hike on current rates as we strip Russian products of their Most Favoured Nation access to UK markets.
- We are stopping the export of high-end luxury goods to Russia, banning the Russian elite’s favourite products like high-end fashion and luxury vehicles. The export ban will come into force shortly and will make sure oligarchs and other members of the elite, who have grown rich under President Putin’s reign and support his illegal invasion, are deprived of access to luxury goods.
- We made it a criminal offence for any Russian-linked planes to enter UK airspace or land in the UK, inflicting more economic pain on Russia and those close to the Kremlin. New legislation has made it a criminal offence for any aircraft owned, operated or chartered by anyone connected with Russia or sanctioned individuals or entities to enter UK airspace or land in the UK, and will also include the power to detain any aircraft owned by persons connected with Russia.
- We have banned all Russia-linked vessels from entering UK ports. We will seek to support UK ports in identifying Russian flagged, registered, owned, controlled, chartered or operated vessels within the scope set out, who will not be allowed to enter UK ports.
- We are preventing UK exports of aviation or space-related items to Russia and blocking Russian aviation companies from accessing our world-leading insurance market. New measures to block aviation or space-related exports have been laid into legislation, further tightening the growing economic pressure on Russia and limiting the benefits that Russian entities receive from their access to the global insurance and reinsurance market.
- We will prevent Russian companies in the aviation or space industry from making use of UK based insurance or reinsurance services. These further economic sanctions will limit the benefits Russian entities receive from their access to the global insurance and reinsurance market.
- We are expediting the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill through Parliament, cracking down on corrupt elites and ramping up pressure on Putin’s regime. The Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill has passed in the House of Commons, and we are looking for swift passage in the Lords in order to get Royal Assent as soon as possible.
We amended the Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Bill to allow us to crack down faster on those supporting Putin. Our amendments will allow the UK to align more rapidly with the individual sanction designations imposed by our allies such as the US, Canada and the EU via an urgent designation procedure and will remove the test of ‘appropriateness’ for sanction designations so we can move faster.
We will shorten the deadline for overseas companies to register their beneficial owners, cracking down on money laundering through UK property. We will shorten the deadline from 18 months to six months – cracking down on money laundering whilst also giving people who hold their property in overseas entities for legitimate reasons appropriate time to comply with the new requirements.
These changes will allow us to go faster and harder on those closest to Putin, including oligarchs, as we continue to ratchet pressure in the face of illegal and unprovoked Russian aggression. A further amendment will also increase criminal penalties for non-compliance from fines of up to £500 per day to up to £2,500 per day. As set out in the existing legislation, other sanctions will include prison sentences of up to 5 years and imposition of financial penalties for non-compliance.
We are using new powers in our Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act to sanction 370 more key oligarchs and supporters of the Putin regime. We are using new powers from our expedited Economic Crime (Transparency and Enforcement) Act, which received Royal Assent today,(15/03/22) to sanction over 370 more individuals and entities, including Putin’s political allies, propagandists and 51 oligarchs worth more than £100 billion and their family members.
We are creating a register of overseas entities, exposing foreign property owners who try to hide behind secretive shell companies. The new register will require anonymous foreign owners of UK property to reveal their real identities to ensure criminals cannot hide behind secretive shell companies, with those who break the rules facing up to 5 years in prison and restrictions on selling their property.
We have announced plans to reform Companies House, cracking down on those who abuse our framework and improving corporate transparency. The plans announced in our white paper will empower the Registrar of Companies to challenge dubious companies registered in the UK; removes the risk of overseas company registration agents from abusing our framework; introduces measures to stop certain individuals from being appointed as company directors; and tackles opaque ownership structures to only allow the appointment of UK-based corporate directors.
We are intensifying sanctions enforcement, with new powers for law enforcement and a specialised Kleptocracy unit to crack down on companies that breach sanctions rules. We are establishing a new Kleptocracy cell based in the National Crime Agency to catch and punish those who breach sanctions rules and bringing forward new powers to make it easier for law enforcement to punish more companies and name and shame those who breach sanctions.
- We are clamping down on the abuse of British courts by Russian oligarchs and corrupt elites, protecting free speech and putting a stop to legal bullying tactics. We set out plans to limit the use of ‘Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation’ – lawsuits involving the use of the threat of endless legal action and associated costs to pressure opponents under defamation and privacy laws. We are seeking views on proposals including protections for whistleblowers and capping the costs that claimants can recover.
Suspending publicly funded research and innovation collaborations with Russian Universities and companies of strategic benefit to the Russian state. Our aim is to introduce measures that will negatively impact the Russian state, and individuals and organisations with strong links to the Kremlin, but not to sanction individual Russian scientists or innovators with benign research interests. Our new sanctions will tackle Russian research and innovation – all payments for Russian-linked projects delivered through UK public funds have been paused and we will no longer provide new funding for collaborative projects, and we are providing a £3 million package of support for at-risk Ukrainian researchers.
We have announced 14 new sanctions (Thursday 31 March) on Russian propagandists and state media who spread lies and deceit about Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine. The Government is also directly sanctioning state media organisations, targeting the Kremlin funded TV-Novosti who own RT, formerly Russia Today, and Rossiya Segodnya who control news agency Sputnik. Following Ofcom’s decision to revoke RT’s broadcasting licence, these sanctions will ensure RT will not be able to find its way back on UK televisions, and will prevent companies and individuals operating in the UK from doing business with Russian state propaganda vehicles RT and Sputnik, and key figures in those organisations.
26 February 2022 Further Restrictive Economic Measures Announced: "We commit to ensuring that selected Russian banks are removed from the SWIFT messaging system. This will ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally.
Second, we commit to imposing restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions.
Third, we commit to acting against the people and entities who facilitate the war in Ukraine and the harmful activities of the Russian government. Specifically, we commit to taking measures to limit the sale of citizenship—so-called golden passports—that let wealthy Russians connected to the Russian government become citizens of our countries and gain access to our financial systems.
Fourth, we commit to launching this coming week a transatlantic task force that will ensure the effective implementation of our financial sanctions by identifying and freezing the assets of sanctioned individuals and companies that exist within our jurisdictions. As a part of this effort, we are committed to employing sanctions and other financial and enforcement measures on additional Russian officials and elites close to the Russian government, as well as their families, and their enablers to identify and freeze the assets they hold in our jurisdictions. We will also engage other governments and work to detect and disrupt the movement of ill-gotten gains and to deny these individuals the ability to hide their assets in jurisdictions across the world.
Finally, we will step up or coordinate against disinformation and other forms of hybrid warfare."
The UK Government intends to make further related designations this week, working alongside our international partners. Find out more about the UK’s sanctions relating to Russia here. You can also view the full UK sanctions list.