On 7 March, the first session of the UK government’s inquiry into the effectiveness of Russian economic sanctions explored what makes sanctions effective and what future sanctions are available to the government. It also examined how economic sanctions can be applied to individuals, banks, companies, and government reserves with experts in sanctions, economics, and payment policy. Witnesses included Naatasha De Terán, Payments Policy Expert, Tom Keatinge, Director of Centre for Financial Crime and Security Studies, The Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), Neil Shearing, Group Chief Economist, Capital Economics, and Dr. Justine Walker, Head of Global Sanctions and Risk, Association of Certified Anti-Money Laundering Specialists (ACAMS).
On March 8, the Foreign Affairs Committee also took evidence on the Russia-Ukraine Crisis. The hearing was a part of an ongoing inquiry on the situation in Ukraine exploring the situation on the ground, and how the UK can work with Ukraine and other allies to respond. The discussion covered questions ranging from why the UK’s sanctions have been slower than those of the EU, whether sanctioning oligarchs is an effective strategy, and what countries are we likely to see helping Russia and not joining in in sanctions. Witnesses included Justine and Tom Keatinge as well as Timothy Ash, Senior Sovereign Strategist, Emerging Markets at Bluebay, and Maria Shagina, Visiting Senior Fellow at Finnish Institute of International Affairs.