UK steps up its sanctions against Putin ally Belarus over Russia’s illegal invasion of Ukraine


UK steps up its sanctions against Putin ally Belarus over Russia's illegal invasion of Ukraine

British government is set to announce further sanctions against Belarus for its support of president Putin’s illegal invasion of Ukraine.

According to Mail Online, the new sanction will ban imports of Belarusian iron and steel and stop the export of British artworks and designer handbags. More of its companies will also be prevented from trading in the UK’s financial services sector.

Belarus has facilitated Russia’s devastating invasion of Ukraine, with attacks being launched from its territory and Russian jets using the country’s airspace.

Yesterday it emerged the cost of the war is beginning to bite in Russia with the Kremlin poised to cut its spending plans by £24billion.

Defence, technology and transport budgets are set to be slashed following the imposition of Western economic sanctions.

The latest initiatives against Belarus follow an announcement by Foreign Secretary Liz Truss of a ‘Marshall Plan’ to oversee the reconstruction of Ukraine.

President Volodymyr Zelensky said the scale of the task to rebuild the country is ‘colossal’ in the areas already liberated from Russia.

A further 2,000 towns and villages which remain under Russian occupation have also been destroyed. The cost of repairing and rebuilding Ukraine has been estimated at £620billion.

Miss Truss told a donor conference in Switzerland yesterday that Ukraine’s recovery would be a ‘symbol of the power of freedom’ and prove that Putin’s attempts to destroy the country would only produce a ‘stronger, more prosperous and united nation’.

Among the delegates to attend the conference was Ruslan Stefanchuk, the speaker of the Verkhovna Rada, Ukraine’s parliament.

At 6ft 7in and weighing 26st, he dwarfed his fellow delegates, who included Swiss president Ignazio Cassis, Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission, and Irene Kalin, president of the National Council of Switzerland.

Mr Stefanchuk wrote on Twitter: ‘Putin’s Russia is a threat to the entire security architecture. The first challenge on the world agenda is a new security model. And this is discussed within the framework of the Ukraine Recovery Conference at the highest level.’

Russia’s gradual advance across eastern Ukraine continued yesterday as its troops seek full control of the Donbas area after seizing the Luhansk region. They were congratulated by Putin who said they should ‘rest and recover their military preparedness’.

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