Johnson considers sanctions on Putin’s ‘inner circle’ as air strikes hit Kyiv

The Prime Minister discussed fresh measures with allies on Friday.

25 February 2022

Boris Johnson is considering sanctioning Vladimir Putin’s “inner circle” after Ukraine demanded tougher measures and support fending off the Russian invasion, as Kyiv was hit by air strikes and fighting closed in on the capital.

The Prime Minister is also using an emergency Nato summit on Friday to increase pressure on allies to freeze Russia out of the Swift international payment system amid opposition to the move in the European Union.

Mr Johnson is facing calls, including from Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, to strengthen his package of measures hitting oligarchs supporting the Putin regime and freezing Russian bank assets.

With the EU considering an asset freeze against the Russian president and his foreign minister Sergei Lavrov, Mr Johnson and allies from the Joint Expeditionary Force alliance including Sweden, Norway and the Netherlands agreed the need to go further.

“The leaders agreed that more sanctions were needed, including focusing on President Putin’s inner circle, building on the measures that had already been agreed,” Downing Street said, adding that Mr Johnson agrees more support needs to be given to Ukraine as a “matter of urgency”.

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