UK Sanctions Regime: Russia and Belarus Debate

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Department: Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office

UK Sanctions Regime: Russia and Belarus

Lord Watts Excerpts
Tuesday 14th November 2023

(7 months ago)

Lords Chamber
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Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, I record my thanks to the noble Lord for his kind remarks. I recognise, as he has, that this is about cross-party working and identifying what further steps we can take. I would not be bold enough to suggest that we have 100% compliance or that we are closing every loophole that has been identified; as I said, there will be further action in these areas. I also take on board some of the countries he mentioned where we can do further work. I will work with colleagues across government to ensure that, when we identify particular areas, I will notify the Front Benches in the usual way about action we are considering taking.

Lord Watts Portrait Lord Watts (Lab)
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My Lords, what system do the Government have for monitoring these sanctions? It seems strange that the media seem to have been better informed than the Government. What measures will the Government put in place to make sure that they do this effectively?

Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon Portrait Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon (Con)
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My Lords, part and parcel of our work with the Treasury and, in particular, the Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation is, first, to ensure that we identify the actual structures being used and abused in this way to override sanctions and, then, to work directly with companies and inform them of mitigation methods that can be taken. This is ever-evolving, so, with the more sanctions we impose and the more sectors we look at, there is a lag time before they become effective. As I have already alluded to, we have identified that there will be a time lag while actions are implemented for particular sectors. I also accept that some companies act inadvertently and that we should not penalise them financially straight away; we should also look at other methods, including those we are deploying directly.