Britain sanctioned more than two dozen targets Tuesday including firms and individuals in Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Iran in what London described as the “largest ever UK action” targeting Russia’s access to foreign military supplies for its war against Ukraine.

In a statement, the UK Foreign Ministry said it had sanctioned 22 individuals and businesses outside Russia supporting the country’s invasion of Ukraine, as well as three Russian companies importing electronics vital to Russia’s military equipment used on the battlefield.

Two Turkish businesses, Turkik Union and Azu International, were designated for exporting microelectronics “essential” for the Russian military activity in Ukraine. Azu International has already been sanctioned by Ukraine. Al-Monitor has contacted both companies for comment.

European and US leaders have repeatedly warned Turkey about local companies helping Russia evade Western sanctions. As part of its self-proclaimed policy of “proactive neutrality,” Ankara has closed the Turkish Straits to Russian military naval vessels and continued to supply critical military equipment to Ukraine, but in stark contrast to most of its allies in the bloc, the NATO member has not joined sanctions against Russia.

The United Arab Emirates also has maintained a neutral stance regarding the Ukraine war. Dubai-based Aeromotus Unmanned Aerial Vehicles Trading LLC was also sanctioned by the United Kingdom for its alleged role in supplying drones and drone components to Russia. Al-Monitor has contacted the company for comment. Both Aeromotus and Azu International were sanctioned by the US treasury in April for their alleged role in the 18-month-long conflict.

In a statement announcing the sanctions, the UK Foreign Ministry said it was also taking further action to tackle Iran and Belarus’s support for Russia’s military. Iran has supplied Shahed drones that Russia has deployed on Ukraine. The UK sanctions include Iranian individuals and entities involved in the research, development and production of unmanned aerial vehicles for Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps.

Tuesday’s announcement is not the first time Britain has sanctioned Turkish, UAE and Iranian companies for their alleged role in the Ukraine war.

Belarusian military organizations linked to manufacturing military technology for the Belarusian government were also sanctioned Tuesday for facilitating Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A Slovakian and a Swiss national were also sanctioned for their work in Russia’s financial services sector and an attempted arms deal.

“Today’s landmark sanctions will further diminish Russia’s arsenal and close the net on supply chains propping up Putin’s now struggling defence industry,” said James Cleverly, the UK foreign minister, in the statement.

“There is nowhere for those sustaining Russia’s military machine to hide,” he added. “Alongside our G7 partners, the UK has repeatedly called on third parties to immediately cease providing material support to Russia’s aggression or face severe costs.”

An investigation by the Jewish Chronicle in June found that British universities have been working with the Iranian government to develop technology that can be used for weapons. Al-Monitor has contacted the UK Foreign Ministry, which has opened a probe into the allegations, for an update.

Source » al-monitor