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Britain’s sanctions watchdog fails in Russia’s war – POLITICO

MP Alicia Kearns, chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, issued a statement in February questioning why so little action had been taken: “Since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the number of asset freezes under UK sanctions increased significantly. . If this is not quickly reflected in the number of enforcement actions, we will have to ask difficult questions about the effectiveness of OFSI’s enforcement capacity.”

In its submission to the Treasury Committee, Treasury said it had increased OFSI’s resources from 40 to 135 staff across its enforcement, intelligence, authorization and engagement functions. Little information is available about its budget: former City Minister John Glen said this was to avoid harming its operational efficiency.

For comparison, the NCA employs more than 5,000 officers and had a budget of £860 million between 2022 and 2023.

Ben Cowdock, head of investigations at Transparency International in the UK, told POLITICO that although OFSI staff numbers have tripled since the start of the war, “in terms of the people they’ve hired, from what I understood, they just moved people around in the civil service. .”

Kearns’ committee in 2019 described the UK’s sanctions regime as “fragmented and incoherent”, highlighting the multiple government agencies and departments that play a role in the system. MPs also used the report to urge the government to improve OSFI’s capabilities, calling assessments of its performance to date “mixed at best.”

In an interview with POLITICO, Sanctions Minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan described the investment in building the OFSI team as “extremely welcome”.


Sara Adm

Aimant les mots, Sara Smith a commencé à écrire dès son plus jeune âge. En tant qu'éditeur en chef de son journal scolaire, il met en valeur ses compétences en racontant des récits impactants. Smith a ensuite étudié le journalisme à l'université Columbia, où il est diplômé en tête de sa classe. Après avoir étudié au New York Times, Sara décroche un poste de journaliste de nouvelles. Depuis dix ans, il a couvert des événements majeurs tels que les élections présidentielles et les catastrophes naturelles. Il a été acclamé pour sa capacité à créer des récits captivants qui capturent l'expérience humaine.
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