Yesterday, the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee published a report entitled Moscow’s Gold: Russian Corruption in the UK, making a number of conclusions and recommendations:
- It calls on the Government to work with the G7 and other international partners to investigate and close the “gaps in the sanctions regime that allowed a company such as En+ to float on the London Stock Exchange” (US-sanctioned “Kremlin associate” Oleg Deripaska is linked to En+).
- It welcomes, in the UK Sanctions Bill, the broad definition of the purpose of sanctions regulations. The committee calls on the Government to “broaden its approach to sanctions” by including individuals closely connected to “hostile regimes”, where appropriate, while retaining the practice of linking sanctions relief to specific actions (e.g. compliance with the Minsk agreements). The UK should work with EU partners, both before and after leaving the EU, to “identify and sanction the individuals and entities on whom the Kremlin relies in carrying out its acts of aggression”. This should also be done in “close consultation with the US Treasury and intelligence agencies”.
- The report welcomes the inclusion of a Magnitsky clause in the Sanctions Bill, and the Government’s pledge to publish a list of individuals sanctioned because of gross human rights violations (comparable to the US Magnitsky list). The Government “should coordinate as closely as possible with the US, EU, G7 and other allies” since “individual sanctions are most effective when a united front can be presented”.
- Given “Russia’s ability to issue new sovereign debt on global markets with the assistance of sanctioned banks”, the Government should work with the EU and US to prohibit the purchase of bonds in which a sanctioned entity has acted as book runner, and an EU agreement should be sought to bar the European clearing houses from making available Russian sovereign debt.
Meanwhile the UK has yet to renew a visa for Roman Abramovich, following its expiry last month.