Chancellor urges more businesses to sever ties with Russia

Rishi Sunak said “there is no argument for new investments in the Russian economy”

Rishi Sunak has called on more companies and asset managers to think “very carefully” before investing in Russia while war rages in Ukraine.

The Chancellor said: “Since the start of the Russian invasion, we have seen widespread from firms and investors to end their involvement with Russian assets or, in other words, to divest.

“Companies such as bp, Shell, Aviva, M&G and Vanguard, to name but a few, have already announced their intention to reduce or sell holdings in Russia.

“I want to make it crystal clear that if firms or investors decide that they need to end their financial relationship with Russia then the government fully supports you.”

Earlier this month, bp ditched its 19.75% stake in Russian oil giant Rosneft. 

The move was followed by Shell’s decision to end its partnership with Russia’s Gazprom and shut all its petrol stations in Russia. 

The government had previously sanctioned Gazprom. 

Rishi Sunak added: “And when I met leading businesses last week, I welcomed the consensus on the need to infect maximum economic pain on Putin and his regime. Until recently, the UK companies held tens of billions of pounds of investments in Russian assets.

“While I recognise that it may be challenging to wind down existing investments, I believe there is no argument for new investment in the Russian economy. I am urging asset owners and managers to think very carefully about any investments that would, in any sense, support Putin and his regime.”

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