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Boris Johnson prepares to publish list of ‘Putin’s pals’

The Independent logo The Independent 02/03/2022 Andrew Woodcock
boris-johnson.jpg © REUTERS boris-johnson.jpg

Boris Johnson has promised to publish a full list of people and organisations associated with Russian president Vladimir Putin’s regime, with aides saying that Britons should “think carefully” before dealing with them.

There were no immediate details of who will feature on the list of “Putin’s pals”, but Downing Street indicated that it will extend well beyond the eight oligarchs and 100-plus companies already sanctioned by the UK in the wake of the invasion of Ukraine.

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Mr Johnson’s official spokesperson said that sanctions will not necessarily be applied to all those featuring, whose names would be published “in the interest of transparency”.

The PM made his announcement as he came under pressure in the House of Commons over the government’s failure to clamp down on the network of London lawyers and lobbyists believed to be helping associates of Putin protect investments in the UK.

He told MPs at prime minister’s questions in the Commons: “We will publish… a full list of all those associated with the Putin regime.”

The PM’s spokesperson later said that Mr Johnson wanted to highlight “individuals who are benefiting from the Putin regime”.

He was unable to confirm that all those named would face sanctions such as travel bans and asset freezes.

But he told reporters: “I think you would expect that a significant proportion would end up on our sanctions regime or indeed sanctions that we’re coordinating with the EU and US.”

Asked whether Mr Johnson expected UK individuals and companies to stop doing business with those named on the list, the PM’s spokesperson replied: “Well, it may well have that effect.

“I think what we are trying to do across the board - whether it’s businesses, oligarchs, or in the cultural sector as well - is to is to make clear that, even when we’re not taking legislative action, people should think very carefully about how they engage with any organisations that may be assisting Putin, even inadvertently, in the attack and invasion of Ukraine.”

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