Ukraine war: Sanctions against Russia failed to achieve goals, claims Moscow's UK ambassador

Sanctions imposed against Russia over its invasion of Ukraine have failed to achieve any of their aims, the country's ambassador has told Sky News.

Andrei Kelin was speaking to Sky News as an investigation by Sky's Ed Conway revealed glaring loopholes in the restrictions regime, which has allowed British companies - legally - to help keep Russian gas flowing and generate huge revenues for the Kremlin's war machine.

He defended the continued trade with Europe despite the heightened tensions, arguing "business is pure business".

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He also argued the supply of weapons by the West, including Britain, to Ukraine was "bad", as it perpetuated the conflict, which he claimed would be worse for Kyiv in the long-term.

Speaking to The World With Yalda Hakim programme, Mr Kelin said: "The goal of the sanctions was first of all to spoil (the) normal life of Russians so they will say that (Vladimir) Putin is wrong.

"The second point of sanctions was to damage the Russian economy as much as possible.

"The third point was to change the political personnel.

"So none of these goals have been reached by the sanctions."

Despite the backdrop of fraught relations, Europe still depends on Russia for around 15% of its gas, handing over around €10bn (£8.5bn) since 2022.

Read more on Sky News:
EU sanctions target Russian gas for first time
Russian oil still seeping into the UK

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However, Mr Kelin played down the importance to Russia of the trade.

He said: "It's just a small portion of the budget, which is measured now in trillions of whatever it is - euros, dollars, pounds, roubles - the budget is big."

He added: "We're not so greedy as Europe. There is no ideology in it.

"Why not if they are buying it?

"Business is pure business. There's no politics. We did not sanction Europe for purchasing anything from us."

Mr Kelin went on: "The West is delivering weapons to Ukraine and this is bad because it is a war of attrition, but the attrition of Ukraine (is) the continuation of the conflict in Ukraine.

"The longer it goes (on), the worse the situation is for Ukraine.

"Not for us. Economically we stand absolutely independent, morale is high, people believe in the president, it has been shown during the elections."

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