Canadian government sanctions former KGB agent Alexander Lebedev

The Canadian government has imposed sanctions on the father of the UK peer and media tycoon Evgeny Lebedev whose peerage has come under increased scrutiny in recent weeks.

Boris Johnson pushed forward with the honour for his friend in 2020 despite the British security services recommending against it, according to the Sunday Times.

Alexander Lebedev, a former KGB agent who made money in post-Soviet Russia, was included on the latest list of people considered close to the Russian regime by Canada.

The list includes: "Russian oligarchs, their family members and close associates who were sanctioned for having directly enabled Vladimir Putin’s senseless war in Ukraine and bear responsibility for the pain and suffering of the people of Ukraine".

But questions have been asked about security concerns that were reportedly raised about him at the time. Lord Lebedev has previously denied being a security risk and said he was a proud British citizen.

Labour deputy leader Angela Rayner said her party was clear that anyone with connections to the KGB should be sanctioned, and said the Conservatives had been "too slow and too soft" in issuing sanctions against those with links to Putin.

She said Johnson was bending the rules to protect his friends and said he had failed to release critical information relating to the appointment of the junior Lebedev to the House of Lords, despite concerns from the security services.

Image: Chatham House via Wikipedia


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