UK bars Russian ships from its ports

The ban will affect billions of pounds worth of Russian imports

The British Department for Transport on Monday banned all Russian ships from its ports. This latest economic penalty, imposed following Russia’s military offensive in Ukraine, will likely stop more than £8 billion ($10.7 billion) worth of Russian imports from reaching the UK when combined with other measures.

In a statement, the Department for Transport said that UK ports are being asked to deny access to any ships believed to be “owned, controlled, chartered or operated by any person connected with Russia” or connected with sanctioned individuals, vessels flying the Russian flag, or vessels registered in Russia.

UK blocking ports to ships owned, controlled, chartered or operated by any person connected with Russia. Simple, broad, effective.

— Matthew Caruana Galizia (@mcaruanagalizia) February 28, 2022

“Further detailed sanctions against Russian shipping are being developed,” the statement concluded.

Britain imported £8.3 billion worth of Russian goods in the first three quarters of 2021, mostly oil, metal, and gas products. With Russian ships now banned from British ports, and British airspace off limits to Russian flights, it is likely that most of these imports will grind to a halt.

In recent days, the UK has also sanctioned Russian banks, including the country’s central bank, and backed Russia’s expulsion from the SWIFT banking network. Meanwhile, London has shipped anti-tank missiles and other “lethal aid” to Ukraine.

Speaking in Parliament on Monday, UK Home Secretary Liz Truss said that the British government wants “a situation where they [Russia] can’t access their funds, their trade can’t flow, their ships can’t dock and their planes can’t land.”

Russia has banned British flights from its airspace, and may nationalize the property of foreigners in Russia, Russian Security Council Deputy Chairman Dmitry Medvedev stated on Saturday.

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