On the sidelines of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF-2018),Russia’s Deputy Finance Minister Sergey Storchak said that he does not consider it likely that the British government will place sanctions on Russian sovereign debt.
“It is not London’s official position. I don’t see any threat, and I don’t think they will do it,” RIA Novosti cites Storchak as responding when asked whether the threat of London placing sanctions on Russian state debt was real.
On May 21, the international affairs committee of Britain’s House of Commons advised the government to make it harder to issue and place Russian sovereign bonds, and to arrange with the EU to exclude Russian state bonds from the services of Europe’s clearing houses.
The MPs believe that the Russian money flowing through Britain’s financial system prevents London from taking a harsh stance on Russia. The committee believes that “dirty money from Russia is threatening the foreign policy interests of the United Kingdom”.
The authors of the report say that “dirty money” from Russia is a threat to the country, and advise the government to get rid of it.
The following day, British Foreign Minister Boris Johnson admitted that he believes the anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the US in April this year are effective. However, he lamented that London is dependent on the whole EU in its sanction policy. The moment the country leaves the bloc in March next year, it will have the opportunity to take a harsher stance with respect to sanctions, the British foreign minister added.
“I think that the effect of some of those [US] sanctions, especially on some individuals – has been very marked, and I have noted that. But we have our own systems and our own approach,” Johnson said. “There is a broader question about what the UK can do to crack down on people close to Putin who may have illicit or ill-gotten wealth,” the British Foreign Minister added.