Councils are urged to freeze out Russia by cutting business ties

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Councils are urged to freeze out Russia by cutting business ties

Hospitals, schools and councils have been told they must ensure they are not propping up Vladimir Putin’s regime.Ministers wrote to public bodies yest

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Hospitals, schools and councils have been told they must ensure they are not propping up Vladimir Putin’s regime.

Ministers wrote to public bodies yesterday to instruct them to cut ties with Russian firms.

Many councils have contracts with the Russian state-controlled energy giant Gazprom to heat buildings. According to the data firm Tussell, local authorities paid £29million to Gazprom from 2016 to 2021, while NHS trusts spent £77million.

Ministers wrote to public bodies yesterday to instruct them to cut ties with Russian firms

Ministers wrote to public bodies yesterday to instruct them to cut ties with Russian firms

Ministers wrote to public bodies yesterday to instruct them to cut ties with Russian firms

The Cabinet Office guidance stated: ‘The Government is supportive of public bodies seeking to divest from Russia and contracting authorities should consider how they can further cut ties with companies backed by, or linked to, the Russian and Belarusian state regimes, while minimising the impact to taxpayers and the delivery of public services.

‘This includes identifying contracts with Russian or Belarusian prime contractors and to consider… terminating the contract.’ It follows a call from Chancellor Rishi Sunak for firms to ‘think very carefully’ about investments linked to Russia. 

Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ‘Public money should not fund Putin’s war machine

Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ‘Public money should not fund Putin’s war machine

Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ‘Public money should not fund Putin’s war machine

Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: ‘Public money should not fund Putin’s war machine.

‘We are asking hospitals, councils and other organisations across the public sector to urgently look at all the ways they can go further to sever their commercial ties to Russia.

‘The Government will continue to work closely with these organisations, ensuring they are able to take the necessary steps as quickly as possible, including taking legal routes where necessary.’

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