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Secret Document Suggests UK Government Will Not Support Trade Sanctions Against Russia

A photographer caught a government official carrying the paperwork into Downing Street.

Steve Back / Political Pictures

LONDON – A secret briefing document held by an individual walking into Downing Street suggest that the UK will oppose trade sanctions against Russia following the country’s invasion of Ukraine.

The document, captured on Monday by freelance photographer Steve Back of Political Pictures, also suggests that the UK will not seek to restrict the ability of Russians to use Britain as a financial centre.

However, the document does suggest that the UK is considering whether to place visa restrictions on certain key Russian figures.

Thousands of wealthy Russians have settled in London since the end of the Cold War, investing millions into property and other businesses.

The individual arrived at Downing Street ahead of a meeting of the national security council called to discuss the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

Steve Back / Political Pictures

4. Transcription by BuzzFeed of visible sections:


> …should include wider suspension of contacts and ….. e.g. EU-Russia formats. NATO-Russia Council…. Russia from G8. Visa restrictions/travel bans on key [unreadable]. But UK should not support, for now, trade sanctions …. or close London’s financial centre to Russians.

> ….should be contingent and used for private messaging …. Public statements (e.g. FAC Conclusions) should stick to generic….

…for Ukraine: UK should

> Pursue Technical Assistance package, ideally jointly with German,

> …Government hard publicity to adopt the [5] political….

> …Deep and Comprehensive FTA.

> …contingency EU work on providing Ukraine with alternative gas supplies if Russia cuts them off.

Next steps: UK should

>Pursue deployment of OSCE and/or UN (but not EU monitors to Crimea and Eastern Ukraine

>Push UN Secretary General Ban to take the lead in calling and creating a forum engaging Russia on Ukraine

>Accept a special European Council

>Discourage any discussion (e.g. NATO) of contingency military preparations

5. The individual photographed carrying the document into Downing Street:

Steve Back / Political Pictures

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