UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss puts Russian oligarchs on notice for new sanctions

Britain's government says that a 'hit list' has been drawn up, aimed at wealthy people with links to Vladimir Putin

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said failure to stop Russia's actions in Ukraine could lead to a much broader war that involves Nato. Reuters
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Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has said the UK is drawing up a “hit list” of oligarchs with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin, to be included under new sanctions.

Ms Truss said there were more than 100 billionaires in Russia and officials were going through the cases before imposing sanctions “every few weeks”.

The warning came after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson last week named eight wealthy Russians who will be hit by travel bans and asset freezes along with 100 other individuals and bodies.

"We have compiled a hit list of oligarchs. We are working through and putting the cases together,” Ms Truss told Sky News.

"We will be targeting oligarchs' private jets, we will be targeting their properties, we will be targeting other possessions that they have and there will be nowhere to hide."

The UK has been accused of being a major destination for illicit Russian wealth. The government earlier this month announced the end of a “golden visa” scheme that provides a route to permanent residency with a minimum £2 million investment.

Russians used the scheme more than any other nationality, apart from China and campaigners have long complained of insufficient checks.

Ms Truss said there will be an economic cost to the UK in tackling Russia, including from access to oil and gas markets.

But the foreign secretary said that failure to stop Russia's actions in Ukraine could lead to a much broader war that involves Nato.

“This long-running conflict is about freedom and democracy in Europe," said Ms Truss. “If we don't stop Putin in Ukraine we are going to see others under threat — the Baltics, Poland, Moldova, and it could end up in a conflict with Nato.

"We do not want to go there. That is why it is so important we make the sacrifices now.”

Her Cabinet colleague Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, told the Mail on Sunday that it could take a decade to defeat Mr Putin.

Updated: February 27, 2022, 12:02 PM