UK bans export of luxury goods to Russia, raises tariffs on vodka
London, Mar 15 (EFE).- The United Kingdom announced Tuesday fresh sanctions on Russia over its invasion of Ukraine, including a ban on the export of certain luxury goods, such as fashion, cars and works of art, and additional tariffs of 35 percent on imports such as vodka.
The Department of International Trade said in a statement that these measures, to come into force in the coming days, will inflict “maximum harm” to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s “war machine.”
The imported products that will be subject to these new tariffs add up to a total a value of 900 million pounds (about $1.17 billion), the statement said.
These products include iron, steel, fertilizers, wood, tires, railway containers, cement, copper, aluminum, silver, lead, iron ore, beverages, spirits and vinegar, glass, cereals, oil-seeds, paper and cardboard, machinery, works of art, antiques, artificial skins and fur, boats and white fish.
The department said Russia and Belarus would lose access to Most Favoured Nation (MFN) tariff for hundreds of their exports, depriving both nations key benefits of World Trade Organization (WTO) membership.
The MFN status allows one a country to always get the best price or conditions available in the purchase of a product or service.
The British Government said the export ban on luxury goods was being done in coordination with the Group of Seven (G7, or the seven most developed economies) and the WTO.
The measure will ensure that the “oligarchs and other members of the elite, who have grown rich under President Putin’s reign and support his illegal invasion, are deprived of access to luxury goods,” said the statement.
“The UK stands shoulder to shoulder with our international partners in our determination to punish Putin for his barbaric actions in Ukraine, and we will continue our work to starve his regime of the funds that enable him to carry them out,” said International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, on his part, said that these new tariffs would “further isolate the Russian economy from global trade, ensuring it does not benefit from the rules-based international system it does not respect.”
Sunak recalled that London has already imposed asset freezes and travel bans on seven leading oligarchs and 386 members of the Russian Duma. EFE