House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee Report on Russian Sanctions

Posted on: 11/04/2017

The House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee has published a report on the UK’s relations with Russia which addresses sanctions on Russia. THE REPORT notes that the UK is one of the strongest western supporters of sanctions on Russia, that “recent developments in both the EU and US have put the future of the sanctions regime in doubt”, and that “its withdrawal from the EU might add weight to the voices of those inside the bloc who would like to see the sanctions eased or lifted”. 

It states therefore that:

“if the UK is determined to maintain a principled stance in relation to the sanctions on Russia, this may require uncomfortable conversations with close allies. The withdrawal of the existing sanctions should be linked to Russia's compliance with its obligations towards Ukraine, and should not be offered in exchange for Russian cooperation in other areas… The challenge in this approach is that the practical effect of economic sanctions on Russian decision-making is doubtful. It looks as though it will be increasingly difficult to sustain a united western position on sanctions, not least if they becoming a bargaining point during Brexit negotiations”.

The committee calls on the international community to remain unified and that the FCO should continue to work closely with the EU to maintain support for Ukraine, whether through sanctions or otherwise. 

G7 foreign ministers have rejected UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson’s call for sanctions on Syrian and Russian military figures responsible for coordinating Syrian military efforts. Italian foreign minister Angelino Alfano said that there was no consensus for imposing the new sanctions, and the group concluded that an investigation into the attack was necessary before taking any such action.

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