UK announces personal sanctions against 25 Russians over Magnitsky case

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LONDON, /TASS/

On Monday, UK announced the introduction of personal sanctions against 25 Russian citizens which London considers involved in a violation of human rights, according to UK government information website.

The list of sanctioned people includes Russian Investigative Committee head Alexander Bastrykin, Deputy Prosecutor General Viktor Grin, Deputy Minister of the Interior Alexey Anichin. The people on the list have been barred from entering the UK, and their assets in the country, if they have any, will be frozen. They will be barred from conducting business both inside the UK and via UK citizens’ mediation.

The sanctions enter force from the moment of publication of the document. The sanctions were introduced within the framework of the so-called “Magnitsky amendment” to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, adopted by the House of Commons in May 2018, and which was supposed to enter force immediately after the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union.

“The [sanctions against] individuals and organizations are the first wave of designations under the new regime, with further sanctions expected in the coming months,” the Foreign Office said in its statement.

Speaking in thou UK Parliament’s House of Commons, Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs Dominic Raab speculated that the sanctions may be extended to foreign citizens which, according to London, are involved in corruption.

Besides Russians, the list includes 20 citizens of Saudi Arabia whom London considers involved in 2018 assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, as well as two Myanmar military commanders, whom London considers involved in “systematic crimes” against the Rohingya people, and two North Korean agencies – the Ministry of Social Security and the Ministry of State Security. London considers the latter two to be involved in torture, the use of slave labor, and assassinations. The document includes a total of 49 people and organizations.

On Monday, Raab will meet with Sergey Magnitsky’s widow Natalia and his son Nikita, as well as William Browder, the founder of the Hermitage Capital investment fund, sentenced in absentia in Russia.

Following US example

Earlier, Rab pointed out that the Magnitsky amendment complies with the US Magnitsky Act.

The Magnitsky Act was adopted by the US Congress and signed by President Obama in December 2012. The document implies the imposition of sanctions against a number of Russian officials. Those include law enforcement officials involved, according to Washington, in Sergey Magnitsky’s death. William Browder is considered the main initiator of the bill. Later, similar Magnitsky Acts were adopted in Canada, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, and more bills being mulled in several more countries.

Russia viewed the Magnitsky Act as foreign meddling in its internal affairs. Russian Foreign Ministry called the document unfriendly and provocative.