Sanctions pushing Russian economy back into Soviet era: British foreign secretary

Sanctions have had a crippling impact, says Liz Truss at joint news conference with Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau in Warsaw.

Sanctions pushing Russian economy back into Soviet era: British foreign secretary

Coordinated sanctions are pushing the Russian economy back into the Soviet era, the British foreign secretary on Tuesday, as she demanded to do more to stop Russian attacks on Ukraine that began on Feb. 24.

"So far our sanctions have had a crippling impact on those who feed and fund [Russian President Vladimir] Putin’s war machine," Liz Truss told a joint news conference with her Polish counterpart Zbigniew Rau on the second day of her visit to the capital Warsaw.

"This week we will announce that we have frozen over $350 billion of Putin’s war chest, making over 60% of the regime’s $604 billion foreign currency reserves unavailable."

"But we can and must step do more," Truss said, adding that she will urge NATO and G7 partners to go further in sanctions by banning Russian ships from ports, cracking down on more Russian banks, and agreeing on a clear timetable to eliminate imports of Russian oil, coal and gas.

The West has imposed an array of sanctions on Russia following its war on Ukraine, which has led to an exodus of millions of people seeking safety in other European countries. Poland has hosted the most refugees.

The foreign secretary said that "the only way for this war to end is for Putin to lose in Ukraine."

Truss said that although Russian troops have been "defeated" in their initial assault on Kyiv, the forces have "set their sights on the East and South of Ukraine."

She argued that NATO’s eastern flank should be strengthened and said: "We are putting more UK forces into Poland as well as more broadly across the eastern flank. Because we do need to strengthen NATO’s Eastern flank and that’s what we will be talking about at the NATO Foreign ministers meeting later this week."

Rau thanked Britain for its efforts to boost the alliance’s eastern flank, and for taking a resolute stance against Russia.