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Great Britain may Introduce New Sanctions against Russians after Brexit
January 23, 2020 15:18

The UK is creating an EU-independent sanctions mechanism that will take effect after Brexit. In particular, London may introduce new sanctions against Russians suspected of involvement in the violation of human rights.

After leaving the EU, the UK plans to launch its own sanctions regime against individuals suspected of violating human rights. Sources in the government told the Financial Times that, first of all, citizens of Russia, Libya, and North Korea, as well as Saudi citizens who were involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018, could be on the list of individuals whose assets in the UK would be frozen.

British Foreign Minister Dominic Raab is expected to launch a new sanctions mechanism a month after Brexit, scheduled for January 31, 2020. 

Raab believes that after Brexit, London will act faster and more decisively in the fight against human rights violations, as it will not have to coordinate its sanctions measures with 27 other EU countries. The British Foreign Minister expects that the new sanctions mechanism will give Britain the opportunity to work more closely with countries such as Canada and the United States, which already have their own strict sanctions regimes.

“We will work closely with Canada to punish those responsible for the most serious human rights violations worldwide,” Raab said after talks in Montreal with Canadian Foreign Minister Francois-Philippe Champagne. “Our common mission in the world is not limited to trade and security - it is also a joint mission to serve as a force of good,” the British minister emphasized.

The sanctions law passed in the UK in 2018 stipulates that after leaving the EU, the country will be able to introduce economic, trade and immigration restrictive measures independently. With the introduction of the sanctions, Raab will be able to apply the provision of national legislation, named after the Russian lawyer Sergei Magnitsky, who died in jail in 2009. This provision allows blocking assets and prohibiting citizens involved in human rights violations from entering the country.
Earlier, in December 2019, the EU foreign ministers agreed to begin work on the sanctions mechanism similar to the American Magnitsky Act adopted in 2012.

Sergei Magnitsky worked as a lawyer at Firestone Dunkan, which served Hermitage Capital. In 2008, he was arrested on charges of organizing a tax evasion scheme. And a year later he died in jail. In 2013, the Tverskoy District Court of Moscow found Magnitsky guilty. Hermitage Capital claimed that the case against Magnitsky was brought by corrupt law enforcement officials after a lawyer revealed a scheme for embezzling 5.4 billion rubles from the budget under the guise of reimbursement of taxes paid by firms.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Russia International Sergei Magnitsky Magnitsky act   

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