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UK announces new sanctions targeting Russia’s ‘war machine’ in Ukraine

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Britain on Wednesday announced a fresh round of sanctions against Russia’s “war machine” in Ukraine, as David Cameron headed to Washington for his first visit as foreign secretary.

The new curbs bar UK firms from dealings with businesses and individuals in countries such as Belarus, China, Serbia, Turkey, the UAE and Uzbekistan, among others.

The 46 new sanctions focus on “individuals and groups supplying and funding (Russian President Vladimir) Putin’s war machine,” the UK’s foreign office said in a statement.

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Among those included are “three actors supporting the Wagner Group network and four operators of the so-called ‘shadow fleet’ vessels used by Russia to soften the blow of oil-related sanctions imposed by the UK alongside G7 partners.”

Armed groups affiliated with the Russian army like the Wagner mercenary force have been active in Ukraine and stand accused of numerous violations of international humanitarian law.

“Today’s measures will disrupt Putin’s ability to equip his military through third-party supply chains,” the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) added.

In Washington, Cameron will underline the UK’s “unwavering support for Ukraine,” alongside stressing the importance of the UK-US relationship.

Also on the agenda are discussions about Israel’s war against Hamas in Gaza.

“The UK and the US are deeply bound by a shared mission to defend the values that provide security and prosperity for us all,” Cameron said ahead of the visit.

“That is why we remain unwavering in our support of Ukraine.”

“We also stand united in the Middle East, working together to ensure long-term security and stability in the region, and in responding to the challenges posed by China.”

Cameron will hold talks with US Secretary of State Antony Blinken as well as Congressional figures from both the left and right.

They will discuss getting humanitarian aid to those hit by the conflict in Gaza and how the two countries can work toward bringing about a long-term two-state solution, his office said.

Israel declared war on Hamas after the militant group’s October 7 attacks that killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, according to Israeli authorities, and saw around 240 hostages taken.

The latest toll from the Hamas government’s media office said 16,248 people in Gaza, most of them women and children, had been killed.

Cameron, who served as Conservative prime minister from 2010 to 2016, was named as Britain’s top diplomat on November 13 when Prime Minister Rishi Sunak shuffled his ministerial team.

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