BBC Breakfasts Naga Munchetty cuts off Dominic Raab during heated Russia chat

BBC Breakfast star Naga Munchetty cut off Dominic Raab during a tense chat about Russian oligarchs.

The BBC presenter grilled the deputy prime minister about the Ukraine crisis on Friday's show (March 4) – alongside co-host Charlie Stayt.

Dominic Raab, who is also the Secretary of State, offered the latest updates about the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It comes as Russian troops seized a nuclear power plant in Ukraine, Zaporizhzhia, which is the largest nuclear power plant in Europe.

PM Boris Johnson branded it a "reckless" attack which could "directly threaten the safety of all of Europe".

However, Naga wanted to know if the UK could put more pressure on Putin as she felt the UK was 'lagging behind Europe' when it came to sanctions on Russian oligarchs.

Oligarchs are wealthy Russians who wield a great deal of political influence.

She asked him: "How many Russians have been sanctioned by the UK government so far?"

Raab replied: "There's over 100 entities which included individuals. You'll have seen the two oligarchs that have been sanctioned over night, but also businesses and banks."

He then dismissed claims that the UK had been "slow" to sanction those like oligarchs, saying: "There's been a running commentary that somehow the UK has been slow. We've not been slow.

"We've been at the vanguard of taking action, and what's really important is we act in concert with our allies, European, American and other NATO allies."

He went on to say that the UK have sanctioned more Russian banks and business than the EU have.

However, Naga challenged his claims, saying: "You say the UK has sanctioned more business than the EU. The EU has sanctioned more individual Russians than the UK. In that sense, the UK is lagging behind.

"Do you know how many more oligarchs or Russians associated with Putin by the EU compared to the UK?"

Raab said Naga was making a "false distinction", saying it was not a question of individuals or companies, it is where the money is flowing.

Tensions rose in the studio when Naga cut the politician off mid-sentence, saying: "But it's also about influence, isn't it? It's about those in President Putin's circle, those who have his ear, those who he listens to."

Dominic hit back: "Sorry, if you'd let me finish, it's about the impact it has on them and Putin. It's not a zero sum game and we'll continue to look at where we've got the evidence to tackle assets held under individual names."

He added that hitting the banks and business are more important.

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