Truss seeks emergency legislation to speed up UK sanctions

UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss pushes for emergency legislation to speed up the process of Impose sanctions on Russian oligarchs With links to President Vladimir Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

Truss hopes to reduce the threshold of evidence to prove a man’s ties to the Kremlin and introduce measures to facilitate the designation of groups of individuals more quickly, according to government officials.

For years Britain has been accused of using the windshield as a “laundromat” for “dirty” Russian money and illegal financing. Terras’ move comes as pressure is mounting on the government to do so Increase sanctions Against Putin’s associates as the US and the EU target a larger number of people.

Critics point out that just last month Tras introduced sanctions legislation designed to significantly strengthen Britain’s ability to deal with Russia’s aggressive action against Ukraine.

“I can not understand how legislation designed with Russian aggression against Ukraine in mind was so difficult to implement,” said Tom Kittinga, a finance and security expert at the Royal United Services Institute. “They do not seem to be able to use the law that they are less than a month old.”

Truss said Monday that the government did Working through a “hit list” Of oligarchs and other figures with ties to Putin, with the aim of imposing sanctions on them. Ministers say they are keen to ensure sanctions are legally watertight, but will be enacted quickly enough to prevent people from transferring their money.

Britain announced on Thursday that it has imposed sanctions on Igor Shubalov, the former Russian deputy prime minister, and Russian billionaire Elishar Osmanov, both In EU sanctions.

But Britain has so far put only 11 people with links to Putin and officials admit it could still take months to impose sanctions, as they face what they say are legal obstacles.

Meanwhile, Brussels has imposed sanctions on more than 25 Russians. Frances Timmermans, Vice-President of the European Commission, tweeted on Thursday that “Britain is now following our lead” regarding the imposition of sanctions on oligarchs.

The Brexit was given as an opportunity for Britain to set its own rules, but some government officials have proposed the translation of EU sanctions law into UK legislation in 2018 seeing ministers make a “higher threshold” for imposing asset freezes and travel bans.

Others rejected this offer. “I’m not sure post-Brexit legislation is the problem,” said one government official. “Sanctions are severe and are always more severe than people realize.

“But there is also the question of whether they started working on it as soon as they had to? Should they have examined the most sensitive political cases and started working on it earlier?”

Joshua Ray, a partner at Rahman Ravelli, who works with international financial institutions on compliance with sanctions in the UK and US, said it was “very difficult” even under UK law for people to be sanctioned to successfully challenge the government.

“The government has a great deal of freedom of action… There is not a huge amount of evidence that the government should get at first,” he said, noting that officials can rely on third-party sources.

He added: “I think what really drives Britain’s slowness to respond is just the amount of Russian money that is in London, and the amount of link between Britain and Russia’s economies. They are very reluctant to disrupt it from an economic point of view.”

A senior British Treasury official who helped build EU sanctions following the Crimean annexation in 2014 said the UK government had a harder time managing recent sanctions against Moscow now that it is out of the bloc.

“Building legally sealed sanctions against people in Russia is a very complicated business, and doing it alone is just more difficult, and it takes more time,” added an insider.

Foreign Ministry officials said staff were recruited to work in the department’s sanctions unit with no prior experience in legislation.

Under the 2018 Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Act, the government must provide evidence of “reasonable causes” to impose sanctions on a person. Officials say this makes the imposition of measures more burdensome legally and over time.

“It is much easier and quicker to start, and perhaps win, a judicial review in the Supreme Court against a UK sanctions decision than to successfully prosecute a direct claim in the European Court of Justice. [Court of Justice of the European Union] In Luxembourg, “said Philip Moser QC.

“So there is a big difference between being the UK government trying to impose sanctions on people in a way that sticks and being the EU Commission that can impose sanctions on a thinner, relatively isolated and effectively challenging basis.”

Truss seeks emergency legislation to speed up UK sanctions Source link Truss seeks emergency legislation to speed up UK sanctions

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