Nov 10, 2022 - World

U.K. has frozen £18 billion of Russian assets since Ukraine invasion

HM Treasury goods entrance

HM Treasury building entrance in London, United Kingdom. Photo: Mike Kemp/In Pictures via Getty Images

The U.K. has frozen more than £18 billion of Russian assets since the start of Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, according to a new annual report published Thursday by the U.K.'s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI).

Why it matters: The U.K.'s sanctions regime against Russia is currently the "most extensive" regime it has established against any country, according to the report.

  • After Russia invaded Ukraine in February, the U.K. joined the U.S. and other Ukrainian allies in imposing sanctions on Russian individuals, banks and companies.

The big picture: Between February and October, the U.K. reported £18.39 billion ($20.9 billion) in frozen Russian assets, the report stated.

  • This figure is about £6 billion ($6.8 billion) more than the amount held against all other British sanctions regimes, according to a government press release.
  • The U.K. has sanctioned more than 1,200 individuals and 120 businesses, and frozen the assets of 19 Russian banks, per the release.
  • "All this is having a major impact on the Russian military complex — vital semiconductors are now being scavenged from fridges and soviet-era equipment is being sent to the front line," the press release stated.

What they're saying: "The UK is united with its allies in opposition to Russia’s barbaric and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine. We have imposed the most severe sanctions ever on Russia and it is crippling their war machine," said Andrew Griffith, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, in the press release.

  • "We will continue to ramp up our sanctions to exert maximum economic pressure on the Russian regime until Ukraine prevail," said Anne-Marie Trevelyan, Minister of State in the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.
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