UK Government 'lagging behind' in imposing effective sanctions, says SNP

The UK Government is “lagging behind” when it comes to imposing effective sanctions on Vladimir Putin’s regime, the SNP has said.

Alyn Smith, the MP for Stirling and the party’s foreign affairs spokesman, called for faster and stronger action, including against Russian oligarchs and those with ties to the Kremlin.

He has written to the Attorney General, Suella Braverman QC MP, asking for clarity on the delays and whether the UK will match US-EU sanctions.

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Mr Smith said: “Having seen the speed and progress the EU has made, I am concerned about the UK government’s lack of progress given the rapidly changing situation in Ukraine.

SNP MP Alyn Smith. Picture PA Wire

“The Foreign Secretary stated earlier that the UK government ‘…will continue working through our hit list of oligarchs, focusing on their houses, their yachts, and every aspect of their lives’. Yet, as reported in the media, the UK has only sanctioned nine Russian oligarchs to date compared to the 25 individuals sanctioned by the EU with ties to Putin.

“A supposed benefit of Brexit was that the UK would be able to move quicker in imposing broader sanctions – yet the evidence suggests that this is another myth given the EU’s far larger and far more effective response.

"It is becoming painfully obvious that the UK is lagging behind our Western allies when it comes to tackling Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.

“Both Chairs of the Foreign Affairs Committee and Defence Select Committee have urged the UK government to go much faster and further.

"The SNP has put forward several measures that we would like to see implemented as have many others.

"There is a unique cross-party consensus that more must be done and done quickly, otherwise it will be too late for the sanctions to have any meaningful effect.”

It comes amid international condemnation of a Russian attack on a Ukrainian nuclear power station.

Buildings at Zaporizhzhia nuclear plant, the largest in Europe, were damaged after it was hit by shelling.

Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the US ambassador to the United Nations, told an emergency meeting: "By the grace of God, the world narrowly averted a nuclear catastrophe last [Thursday] night.”

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