LONDON: Foreign Secretary of the United Kingdom, James Cleverly confirmed on Monday that he was sanctioned by the Russian authorities and said that he is happy if supporting Ukrainian freedom is a restriction.
Taking to Twitter, Cleverly said, “I’ve been sanctioned by the Russian government. Good. If this is the price for supporting Ukrainian freedom, then I’m happy to be sanctioned #SlavaUkraini.”
Earlier, on Saturday, Russia announced the sanctions on Cleverly and other Cabinet members over the “anti-Russian course” of the UK government, according to Anadolu Agency.
“In connection with the continuation of the UK government’s anti-Russian course, in January this year, it was decided to additionally include a number of Cabinet members, representatives of law enforcement agencies and journalists of the UK in the Russian ‘stop list’,” Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said in a statement.
In total, 36 individuals were sanctioned, including Housing Secretary Michael Gove, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Oliver Dowden, Minister without Portfolio Nadhim Zahawi, and Chief of the General Staff Patrick Sanders.
Zakharova said that the Russian Foreign Ministry “does not see any expediency” to publish the whole list because the British authorities “understand” who was included, Anadolu Agency reported.
“If the official bodies of the UK show interest in this issue, we will be ready to inform the British authorities and the public about those who condone a hostile course aimed at demonizing our country and attempts to isolate it internationally, destroying the foundation of bilateral relations,” she said.
These sanctions came after Britain said that they will provide Ukraine with 14 Challenger 2 tanks in the coming weeks.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy in a phone call on Saturday that London would send 12 Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine.
“Sending Challenger 2 tanks to Ukraine is the start of a gear change in the UK’s support. A squadron of 14 tanks will go into the country in the coming weeks after the Prime Minister told President Zelenskyy that the UK would provide additional support to aid Ukraine’s land war. Around 30 AS90s, which are large, self-propelled guns, operated by five gunners, are expected to follow,” the UK government said in a statement.
According to the release, more details on UK support for Kyiv will be revealed on Monday.
“The UK will begin training the Ukrainian Armed Forces to use the tanks and guns in the coming days, as part of wider UK efforts which have seen thousands of Ukrainian troops trained in the UK over the last six months,” the statement read further.
Sunk has tasked the Defence Secretary with bringing together European allies to ensure the surge of global military support is as strategic and coordinated as possible.
“The Defence Secretary will travel to Estonia and Germany this week to work with NATO allies and other international partners to this end,” UK Prime Minister’s Office said. (ANI)