'Blood on hands' UK directly targets Abramovich as Truss fumes at Putin's 'kleptocrats'

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Mr Abramovich was hit with an asset freeze and a travel ban in an updated sanctions list published on Thursday.

The move comes as the Government pressures Russia over its invasion of Ukraine which is now in its third week.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “There can be no safe havens for those who have supported Putin’s vicious assault on Ukraine.

“Today’s sanctions are the latest step in the UK’s unwavering support for the Ukrainian people.

“We will be ruthless in pursuing those who enable the killing of civilians, destruction of hospitals and illegal occupation of sovereign allies.”

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss added: “Today’s sanctions show once again that oligarchs and kleptocrats have no place in our economy or society.

“With their close links to Putin they are complicit in his aggression.

“The blood of the Ukrainian people is on their hands.

“They should hang their heads in shame.

“Our support for Ukraine will not waver.

“We will not stop in this mission to ramp up the pressure on the Putin regime and choke off funds to his brutal war machine.”

Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries said on Twitter: “Our priority is to hold those who have enabled the Putin regime to account.

“Today’s sanctions obviously have a direct impact on Chelsea and its fans.

“We have been working hard to ensure the club & the national game are not unnecessarily harmed by these important sanctions.

“To ensure the club can continue to compete and operate we are issuing a special licence that will allow fixtures to be fulfilled, staff to be paid and existing ticket holders to attend matches while, crucially, depriving Abramovich of benefiting from his ownership of the club.

“I know this brings some uncertainty, but the Government will work with the league and clubs to keep football being played while ensuring sanctions hit those intended.

“Football clubs are cultural assets and the bedrock of our communities. We’re committed to protecting them.”

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