Starmer asks Johnson about penalties imposed on Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich

Sir Keir Starmer has urged Boris Johnson to sanction Chelsea owner Roman Abramovich and a former deputy prime minister under Vladimir Putin.

The Labor leader used the Prime Minister’s questions to suggest the UK needed to do more to “stand up to Putin and those who support his regime”.

Mr Johnson would not comment on the individual cases, but insisted the proposed moves to expose ownership of the properties ‘will continue to tighten the noose around Putin’s regime’.

He added that a “full list of all those associated” with the Russian president’s regime will be published, and later told MPs: “I hope those with links to Putin’s regime, whoever be it, the so-called oligarchs… will take this opportunity, as some brave individuals already have, to dissociate themselves from this barbaric invasion.

Their exchanges came after Ukraine’s Ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, received a standing ovation and loud applause from MPs after Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle confirmed he was in the chamber of the Communes.

MPs give a standing ovation to Ukraine’s ambassador to the UK, Vadym Prystaiko, who was seated in the public gallery (House of Commons/AP)

(PA wire)

A spokesman for Russian-Israeli billionaire Mr Abramovich has previously claimed he was trying to broker peace after Russia invaded Ukraine.

Sir Keir told the Commons: “We must stand up to Putin and those who support his regime.

“Roman Abramovich is the owner of Chelsea Football Club and various other valuable assets in the UK. He is a person of interest to the Home Office because of his links with the Russian state and his its public association with corrupt activities and practices.

“Last week the prime minister said Abramovich faces sanctions. He then corrected the record to say it was not. Well, why the hell isn’t it?

Mr Johnson said it was not “appropriate” for him to comment on individual cases at this stage.

Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich is reportedly trying to broker peace between Russia and Ukraine (Adam Davy/PA)

(PA wire)

He added: “But what I can say, and I stand by what I have said in the House and what we have recorded, but that there is no doubt that the steps that we have already taken, that this Chamber has already taken, are having an effect in Moscow, and by exposing the ownership of properties, businesses like we are doing, sanctioning already 275 people, another 100 last week, that impact is being felt.

The prime minister added: “What we will publish additionally is a full list of everyone associated with Putin’s regime.”

Sir Keir then mentioned former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov.

He said: “Last week Putin summoned the cronies who support his regime to the Kremlin, they dip their hands in Putin’s war blood.

“Among them was Igor Shuvalov, Putin’s former deputy prime minister. Shuvalov has two apartments, less than a five-minute walk from this house. They are worth over £11million. He is on the EU sanctions list, but he is not on the UK sanctions list. When will the Prime Minister fix this?

Former Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, who owns a property in Westminster, is on the EU’s sanctions list but not the UK’s, Sir Keir Starmer says (Anthony Devlin/PA)

(PA Archive)

Mr Johnson replied: ‘I think the House should be proud of what we have already achieved. And I can tell him that there is still a lot to do. And thanks to the powers that this Assembly and this government have taken, we can sanction any individual, any company linked to the Putin regime.

“This government was among the first in Europe to ban Aeroflot from our skies. This government led the way last week by banning the use of Swift. And if he spoke to any of our European partners, he would understand the leading role the UK has already played and the impact these sanctions are already having in Moscow.

Sir Keir said Mr Shuvalov’s flats are registered with a company owned by the Russian politician and his wife.

He told MPs: “We only know which oligarch is hiding under this shell company thanks to information obtained and disclosed by Alexei Navalny. Navalny, of course, was poisoned by the Russian state and now sits in a Putin prison.

Transparency is essential to eradicate corruption. It should be in our law, but it’s not.

Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer

“Transparency is essential to eradicate corruption. It should be in our act, but it’s not. And I’m ashamed that we only know about Shuvalov’s Westminster apartments because a dissident risked his life. Is it the Prime Minister?

Mr Johnson said: ‘The UK, of course, is doing all it can to expose Russian ill-gotten spoils, and that’s something we’ve been working on for a long time, and have in fact been the first to impose. sanctions against those who are guilty of the poisoning of Alexei Navalny.

He added: ‘What we are offering now is the exposure of ownership of properties in London and across the UK in a way that has not been possible before, and which, I think, will continue to tighten the noose around Putin’s regime. .”

Mr Johnson suggested that other countries still need to go further to exert “unavoidable pressure on the Putin regime”.

Sir Keir went on to say that the Economic Crimes Bill to reveal ownership of property does not come into force for 18 months if passed, warning it could be ‘far too long for the people Ukrainian”.

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