Britain has announced new sanctions against Russian banks to heap pressure on Vladimir Putin over his invasion of Ukraine, as Downing Street eyed the possibility that economic pressure could bring down the Russian president’s regime.
Boris Johnson said Mr Putin had made a “colossal mistake” in invading Ukraine, and praised the country for its fierce resistance and proving Moscow wrong to think tanks would be “garlanded with roses”.
Liz Truss said all Russian banks would be hit with a full asset freeze within days as she announced new powers to limit them from clearing payments in sterling, which will initially target the nation’s largest bank, Sberbank.
The Foreign Secretary said the war could last “months and years” as she prepared the British public for “some economic hardship” as a result of the sanctions, but vowed to Ukraine that the UK would “suffer economic sacrifices to support you, however long it takes”.
In other developments:
– Home Secretary Priti Patel ruled out a visa waiver for Ukrainians fleeing the conflict, citing fears that Moscow’s troops and extremists could come to the UK, as she came under pressure to help more people reach safety in Britain.