G7: UK to ban Russian diamonds in Ukraine war sanctions
The latest sanctions imposed following the invasion of Ukraine will ban the importation of Russian diamonds into the UK.
A bill to be introduced in the second half of this year will block imports of Russian copper, nickel, and aluminum.
Rishi Sunak said the UK must show “violence and coercion do not reap rewards” ahead of the G7 summit in Hiroshima.
In 2021, the Russian diamond industry will export $4bn (PS3.2bn).
The UK government announced that it would also target 86 additional people and companies linked to President Vladimir Putin. This includes people who “actively undermine the impact of current sanctions.”
Since the Russian attack on Ukraine, UK sanctions have targeted over 1,500 individuals and companies and frozen assets worth more than PS18bn.
Last year the UK, US, Canada, and Japan banned imports of Russian gold in an effort to hit the country’s ability to fund the war in Ukraine.
Downing Street said more than 60% of President Putin’s war chest has been “immobilized” – worth about £275bn.
Both the US and the EU have announced similar sanctions on Russia – with US President Joe Biden setting out plans to ban Russian diamonds, seafood, and vodka last year.
Mr. Sunak is in Hiroshima for the first day of the G7 summit of some of the world’s richest nations.
The prime minister will visit the site of the first nuclear bomb detonation at the Hiroshima Peace Park alongside other G7 leaders before the meeting where the Ukraine war and economic security are likely to be high on the agenda.
Russia has significantly increased the frequency of its missile attacks on Ukraine recently, while Ukraine appears to be shooting down more of Russia’s missiles.
At the meeting, Mr. Sunak is expected to warn other world leaders “against complacency in defending our values and standing up to autocratic regimes”.
On Sunday, he will meet the prime minister of India, Narendra Modi, who is attending the G7 summit as a guest.
Mr. Modi has remained neutral on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, calling for peaceful dialogue to end the conflict.
Mr. Sunak told reporters traveling with him in Japan that he had seen “positive” steps from India in its stance on the war.
The prime minister said the sanctions demonstrated the G7 was unified in the face of the threat from Russia.
He said: “We are meeting today in Hiroshima, a city that exemplifies both the horrors of war and the dividends of peace.
“We must redouble our efforts to defend the values of freedom, democracy, and tolerance, both in Ukraine and here in the Indo-Pacific.”