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UK Govt bans Russian exports of British luxury goods sold to Oligarchs

UK Govt bans Russian exports of British luxury goods sold to Oligarchs

The British government has reportedly announced its decision to ban luxury exports to Russia worth hundreds of millions of pounds. Following the ban, the Russian oligarchs and elites would no longer be able to buy baubles such as luxury handbags, artworks, and cars sold by British brands.

Last year, UK companies exported more than £2.6 billion worth of goods to Russia, with vehicles accounting for the largest share, over £400 million, as wealthy Russians shelled out on prominent marques including Bentley, Aston Martin, and Rolls-Royce.

As per the government, several luxury goods manufacturers have already stopped trading in Russia on their own accord, but the imposition would ensure that oligarchs, as well as other wealthy members of the Russian regime are denied access to luxury items.

Helen Brocklebank, CEO of Walpole, the UK luxury sector's trade body, stated that the body is completely supportive of the new sanctions made by the government.

Brocklebank further stated that all Walpole members have readily agreed with the limitations imposed and are trying to support local staff in any possible way, citing Burberry, Bentley, and Rolls-Royce among the 250 members.

The crackdown on Kremlin-linked money has focused attention on the art market in the United Kingdom, amid fears that Russian oligarchs could exploit legal loopholes in the system to avoid the ban.

Sotheby's stated it had already halted artifact imports and exports to and from Russia, and that its Moscow office was temporarily closed.

Christie's had decided to postpone its Russian art auctions, that were scheduled to happen this summer, in London.

According to sources, exports to Russia have already been halted by Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Bentley Motors, and Aston Martin.

Burberry, one of the UK's most renowned exporters, temporarily shut down three of its storefronts in Russia, including one in Red Square, earlier this month.

The UK government has yet to release a comprehensive breakdown of the luxury products subject to the export sanctions, but analysts believe it will be comparable to the EU's, which covers clothes, precious stones, accessories, and artworks.

It is unknown whether scotch whisky will be included; while Russians are known for their vodka, they also enjoy a good malt, with 42 million bottles worth over £28 million exported last year.

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Omkar Patwardhan

Omkar Patwardhan started his professional career in the hospitality industry. Having nurtured a deep-sated passion for words however, he found his way into content writing and now pens down articles for numerous websites, including News Origins, spanning the sectors of business, finance, and technology.