Keith Simpson asks Foreign Secretary if UK sanctions on Russia are having any effect on Putin

6th March 2018

Following the Foreign Secretary’s statement on the Government’s policy towards Russia, Keith Simpson asks if, given that there is a clear direction of travel of the Putin regime, the measures taken by the British Government are having any effect whatsoever on Putin?

I follow the example of the shadow Foreign Secretary by saying that, as a member of the Intelligence and Security Committee, I do not intend to ask the Foreign Secretary for details of the recent incident, but does he agree that, after more than a decade now, we can see the direction of travel of the Putin regime? Its ability to murder people it regards as traitors is in the finest traditions of the KGB, the NKVD, et cetera. Are the measures taken by the British Government having any effect whatsoever on Putin?

As I have told the House, we believe the sanctions that we have been instrumental in implementing have had an effect, and it is certainly the case that the Russian economy took a serious hit as a result of those sanctions—more than 100 individuals have been listed, and the sectoral measures cover energy, art, the arms trade and financial services. The sanctions are having an effect. If I may say so, it is a measure of the UK’s leading role in enforcing those sanctions and in calling Russia out that Russian rhetoric towards the UK is quite as hostile as it is.

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