According to Reuters, a report recently published by the UK Parliament’s Foreign Affairs Committee indicates that cash flows passing through UK financial institutions impede London’s ability to take a tough stance against Russia. According to MPs, "The scale of damage that this 'dirty money' can do to UK foreign policy interests dwarfs the benefit of Russian transactions in the City," said Committee Chairman Tom Tugendhat.
"There is no excuse for the UK to turn a blind eye as President Putin’s kleptocrats and human rights abusers use money laundered through London to corrupt our friends, weaken our alliances, and erode faith in our institutions," Tugendhat continued.
The UK Parliament Committee also pointed out that London should, together with its allies in other countries, make it difficult for Russia to issue sovereign bonds through banks that are subject to sanctions. This, in the opinion of the report’s authors, will make it possible to exert influence on Moscow's behavior.
The Sunday Times newspaper claimed in late April that Russians are keeping 34 billion pounds sterling in offshore accounts in British overseas territories. This sum, the publication emphasizes, is five times larger than the total sum Russian citizens have deposited in the UK itself. £30 billion of these funds, the newspaper notes, are deposited in the British Virgin Islands alone.
British Prime Minister Teresa May previously promised to freeze all Russian assets and funds in the UK in response to the poisoning of the former GRU colonel Sergei Skripal, who was convicted in Russia for espionage in favor of London, and his daughter Yulia, in the British town of Salisbury on March 4. London accused the Russian authorities of involvement in the incident, but Moscow has repeatedly rejected London’s accusations. Despite this, the newspaper notes, Prime Minister May said in March that "in our country there is no place for these people [Russian businessmen] or their money."