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FT: 127 UK companies admit breaching Russia sanctions

According to the Financial Times, based on a freedom of information request to HM Treasury, 127 companies had voluntarily reported sanctions violations to the UK government by May 17.
Credit: Institute for government
FT: 127 UK companies admit breaching Russia sanctions

More than 100 companies in the United Kingdom have admitted to breaching British sanctions against Russia since the full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, according to data obtained by the Financial Times.

The FT reported that 127 companies voluntarily disclosed sanctions violations to the UK government as of 17 May, based on a freedom of information request submitted to HM Treasury.

By voluntarily reporting breaches and cooperating with investigations, companies can potentially face reduced penalties from the government.

The UK has placed more than 1,600 individuals and companies under sanctions since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022,” the FT states.

In response to the war, the UK has enacted its most severe sanctions against a major economy, including bans on dealing with over two dozen banks and more than 100 oligarchs.

EU backs using profits of frozen Russian assets to aid Ukraine’s rebuilding

The FT reports that HM Treasury’s Office of Financial Sanctions Implementation (OFSI) is tasked with monitoring violations. According to an unnamed OFSI official, the unit is “not trying to unduly penalize honest mistakes” and considers mitigating factors when assessing penalties.

Western sanctions have frozen $300 billion of Russia’s central bank reserves since the invasion of Ukraine began. EU leaders plan to use earnings from frozen Russian assets to support Ukraine.

According to a recent report from the Kyiv School of Economics, Google was among 12 international companies that fully exited the Russian market in October 2023.

As of 1 November 2023, 296 international firms have now fully ceased activities in Russia, accounting for 8.3% of all companies tracked or 23.3% of those with 2022 Russian revenue.

Another 1,215 (34.1% of all tracked) have scaled back operations and stated an intent to leave, as just 42.1% still operate without changes.

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