London imposes sanctions against the mayor of Berdyansk and drone manufacturer Shahed
London believes Shahed is supplying drones to Moscow for use in Ukraine. Russia and Iran deny this.
The UK has expanded the sanctions list adopted after the start of the military operation in Ukraine, according to the website of the government of the United Kingdom.
The updated list included the mayor of Berdyansk Alexander Saulenko. He was appointed to this post after the Russian military took part of the Zaporozhye region under control. On October 5, a law was signed on the accession of this region to Russia.
The justification for the sanctions states that Saulenko is involved in the “destabilization of Ukraine, undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence” of the country.
London also imposed restrictions on three high-ranking Iranian military officers: Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces Bagheri Mohammad, Commander of the Aerospace Forces of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Sayed Aghajani and Head of the Supply Department of the Ministry of Defense Sayed Qureishi. The list also includes the Iranian company Shahed Aviation Industries, which produces drones. London claims that Tehran is supplying drones to Russia for use in Ukraine, so the company is also guilty of "destabilizing Ukraine or undermining or threatening territorial integrity." Earlier, the European Union imposed sanctions against this company.
Western countries claimed back in the summer that they had information about Iran's plans to provide Russia with up to several hundred drones, including combat ones, for use in Ukraine. In particular, US National Security Assistant Jake Sullivan said that the Russian side was interested in the Shahed-191 and Shahed-129 models. In recent days, the Ukrainian authorities have been reporting attacks on infrastructure with the help of Iranian kamikaze drones.
Russian and Iranian authorities deny reports that Tehran is supplying drones to Moscow. The Iranian Foreign Ministry calls the accusations unfounded (Washington in September imposed restrictions on Safiran Airport Services, which the US Treasury Department considers involved in the transfer of drones to Russia for use in Ukraine) and states that they oppose the supply of weapons to the parties to the armed conflict. The Kremlin says that such data is fake. Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called reports about Iranian drones rumors spread by some independent, unnamed closed sources in the US media.
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