EU vs UK: Europes response to Ukraine compared

Russian ruble falls to all-time low following economic sanctions

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Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought war to Europe for the first time in decades. As a result, Russia is now the most sanctioned country in the world – but what exactly are the EU and UK punishing Russia with, and how do the sanctions compare?

Financial systems

Both the EU and the UK have imposed sanctions on Russia’s central bank.

The UK has now imposed “restrictive measures that will prevent the Russian Central Bank from deploying its international reserves in ways that undermine the impact of our sanctions”.

In a joint statement, the UK and EU said a “select” number of Russian banks will be removed from the SWIFT international payments system to “ensure that these banks are disconnected from the international financial system and harm their ability to operate globally”.

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Select banks have also been targeted individually by the UK and EU.

The UK has frozen the assets of Russia’s second-largest bank, VTB, meaning it can not do any business in the UK.

Is Bank, Genbank and Black Sea Bank for Development and Reconstruction have been placed under sanctions by the UK.

Alfa-Bank and Bank Otkritie face an EU ban on issuing bonds, shares or loans in the EU for refinancing.

Both the UK and EU have placed asset freezes on Bank Rossyia and Promsvyazbank.

Air and travel

Russian airline Aeroflot has been banned from UK airspace – this has not happened in the EU.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said: “Putin must fail and so we were one of the first countries to ban Russian aircraft and today we are going even further by making it a criminal offence for Russian aircraft to operate in UK airspace.”

The EU has sanctioned Mikhail Poluboyarinov, chief executive of Aeroflot.

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Gas and oil

Germany has indefinitely paused its approval of the controversial Nord Stream 2 pipeline, and announced this week that it would begin to end its heavy reliance on Russian gas and oil.

The UK, which is in a position to move much more swiftly on oil and gas because it does not rely on Russia, has confirmed it will cease all oil imports by the end of this year.

Russia is the second-largest exporter of crude oil worldwide, trailing only Saudi Arabia.


In the EU, diplomats, Russian officials and business people can no longer benefit from visa facilitation provisions, which allow privileged access to EU nations.

Oligarchs and individuals

The UK is setting up an “Oligarch Taskforce” to target Russian elite with interests in the UK and links to the Kremlin.

So far, the UK had sanctioned 15 oligarchs and 204 individuals.

EU sanctions now apply to a total of 862 individuals, including almost all of Russia’s 450-member Duma parliament.

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