UK Announces First Sanctions Targeting Russians, Saudis

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praises UK for new sanction regime

The UK announced on Monday new economic sanctions targeting individuals and organizations in Saudi Arabia, Russia, Myanmar, and North Korea. Britain has previously imposed sanctions as part of the European Union and the UN, but this is the first time the UK has done so independently after the country formally left the EU earlier this year.

The sanctions are modeled after the US Magnitsky Act, which gives Washington the power to freeze economic assets of individuals and groups it accuses of violating human rights.

The sanctions target 25 Russian nationals allegedly involved in the death of Sergei Magnitsky, a tax lawyer who died in a Russian prison in 2009. Twenty Saudi officials accused of being involved in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are also targeted by the new sanctions, along with two high-ranking Myanmar military officials accused of systematic violence and brutality against Rohingya Muslims, and two North Korean companies accused of running prison camps.

“You cannot set foot in this country, and we will seize your blood-drenched ill-gotten gains if you try,” UK Foreign Minister Dominic Raab said when he announced the sanctions. “This is a demonstration of Global Britain’s commitment to acting as a force for good in the world.”

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo praised the UK for implementing the new sanctions. “The UK Global Human Rights sanctions regime will give the UK a powerful new economic tool to promote accountability for human rights abuse on a global scale. The UK’s new powers will complement the efforts of the United States and Canada, further enhancing our ability to act together,” Pompeo said in a statement.

Author: Dave DeCamp

Dave DeCamp is the news editor of, follow him on Twitter @decampdave.