Britain has imposed new sanctions against senior Russian military commanders for their role in the ongoing war in Ukraine, as well as Iranian businessmen over allegations of involvement in the production and supply of military drones to the Kremlin.
The British Foreign Ministry made the announcement in a statement on Tuesday, saying the package of 16 sanctions are in response to Russia’s continued strikes on civilian infrastructure in Ukraine.
British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said the sanctions targeted twelve high-level commanders of military units implicated in missile strikes on Ukrainian cities.
Major General Robert Baranov, believed to be the commander of a unit responsible for programming and targeting Russian cruise missiles, is among those targeted.
He also said the designations focus on “Iranian businessmen and a military official involved in the production and/or supply of military drones used to carry out attacks.”
Cleverly further said, “The UK stands with Ukraine,” adding that “Russian forces’ calculated attacks on cities and innocent civilians in Ukraine will not go unanswered.”
He also noted that Russian President Vladimir Putin “wants to break Ukraine’s spirit, but he will not succeed. Ukraine will win, and Ukraine will rebuild.”
The latest development came a day after the Russian embassy in London roundly dismissed the “inappropriate statements” of Cleverly, who spuriously claimed Iran was sending armament and munitions to Russia for its military campaign in neighboring Ukraine.
Britain says Iranian-manufactured drones have played a central role in attacks on civilians, citing US information on December 9 showing Iran has become one of Russia’s top military backers, sending hundreds of drones to Russia.
Both Iran and Russia have repeatedly denied claims that Tehran has provided Moscow with drones to be used in the Ukraine war.
The anti-Iran claims first emerged in July, with US National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan alleging that Washington had received “information” indicating that the Islamic Republic was preparing to provide Russia with “up to several hundred drones, including weapons-capable UAVs on an expedited timeline” for use in the war.
Iranian Foreign Minister Hossein Amir-Abdollahian in November dismissed media controversy over Iran’s alleged support for Russia in the Ukraine war, adding, however, that Tehran had provided Moscow with a limited number of drones months before the war in Ukraine.
He also assured that Iran will not be indifferent if it is proven that Russia has used Iranian drones in the conflict.
The top diplomat said Tehran would continue its efforts to stop the war and promote lasting peace in Europe.
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