Anti-corruption campaigner reacts to EU ban on 'Western enablers' of Vladimir Putin

4 May 2022, 15:18 | Updated: 4 May 2022, 15:28

By Sam Sholli

Anti-corruption campaigner Bill Browder has given LBC his take on the EU imposing a ban on people he says are "Western enablers" of Vladimir Putin.

Mr Browder gave his view while speaking to LBC's James O'Brien, after the EU announced plans to ban Russian oil by the end of the year as part of a sanctions package.

Mr Browder told LBC: "Just like an hour ago, the European Union made an announcement about the new sanctions package on Russia.

"The headline was that they were going to stop buying Russian oil - which is huge, really important."

Mr Browder added: "But in the small-print was something that I found to be really exciting - which was they're going to ban EU companies, consultants, spin doctors, PR firms [and] lobbyists from advising Russians.

"I call these people the Western enablers."

In a speech, EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has said: "Moreover, the Kremlin relies on accountants, consultants and spin doctors from Europe. And this will now stop. We are banning those services from being provided to Russian companies."

Mr Browder also told James: "Now this is just the EU.

"London is the worldwide centre for Russian-enabling, and the British Government should do exactly the same thing as soon as possible."

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss has since tweeted an announcement of a ban on services exports to Russia.

The Foreign Secretary today tweeted: "Today I announce a ban on services exports to Russia.

"Russian businesses will no longer benefit from the UK’s world class accountancy, consultancy and PR services.

"We’re making sure that Putin fails in Ukraine."

In response to the news, Mr Browder has tweeted that the UK ban as "big and welcome news".

During Mr Browder's exchange with James, the anti-corruption campaigner also said that "British firms have been subcontracted by the Russian security services to hurt us".

Ursula von der Leyen also, in her speech, said: "We now propose a ban on Russian oil. This will be a complete import ban on all Russian oil, seaborne and pipeline, crude and refined.

"We will make sure that we phase out Russian oil in an orderly fashion, in a way that allows us and our partners to secure alternative supply routes and minimises the impact on global markets.

"This is why we will phase out Russian supply of crude oil within six months and refined products by the end of the year. Thus, we maximise pressure on Russia, while at the same time minimising collateral damage to us and our partners around the globe. Because to help Ukraine, our own economy has to remain strong."

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