LONDON: Britain said Tuesday it was adding top lender Sberbank to its list of Russian entities sanctioned over the invasion of Ukraine, and warned that the costs would only increase for the Kremlin.
The Treasury updated its sanctions list to show the designation of Public Joint-Stock Company Sberbank, whose European arm is already tottering after it was sanctioned by the EU.
The move comes after the government on Monday said it would freeze the UK assets of all Russian banks, and ordered British ports to turn away Russian ships.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab said the West's sanctions, including a freeze on the assets of Russia's central bank, would cause oligarchs to intensify pressure on President Vladimir Putin.
"That will starve Putin's war machine and will also put pressure on many of the oligarchs who need access to the international system and who will apply pressure on Putin," he told BBC television.
The sanctions were not meant to target the Russian people, Raab said, after many banks saw lengthy queues of people trying to withdraw their savings and convert them into foreign currency.
"But it's inevitable that Russia's and Putin's misadventure, his catastrophic decision, will be disastrous for the Russian people," the British minister said.
"It will show them the economic cost to them of getting bogged down in this unwarranted, unjustifiable war."