“As foreign secretary, I put the toughest sanctions on Russia of any country in the world”

That’s what Liz Truss told Conservative Party members in Belfast this week.

But is she right?

The UK has introduced 1,281 new sanctions on Russian entities since 22 February this year, when Vladimir Putin recognised the Luhansk and Donetsk provinces of Ukraine. He launched his full-scale assault on the country just two days later.

(The figures we’re using are from Castellium.AI, a private company that provides data on financial sanctions to companies, some of which it makes public. Its stats were last updated on 15 August.)

The UK figure is lower than the new sanctions introduced by the US and Switzerland over the same period – the two countries brought in 1,303 and 1,360 sanctions respectively.

What about further back?

International sanctions on Russia began in 2014, when Moscow decided to illegally annex the Ukrainian region of Crimea.

Taking account of all the sanctions issued since then, we can see the UK has issued fewer sanctions overall than the US, Canada and Switzerland: 1,518 versus 2,251, 1,674 and 1,616, respectively.

So, in terms of the number of Russian sanctions issued, Castellium data suggests the UK is fourth in the world overall – and third when it comes to those introduced since the latest crisis began.

It’s possible that Ms Truss had some other measure of “toughness” in mind, though neither her campaign team nor the Foreign Office suggested an alternative metric that would back up her claim when contacted by FactCheck.

The Foreign Office told us: “Since February, we have sanctioned over 1,100 individuals, including over 120 oligarchs and family members, and more than 19 banks representing over 80% of the Russian banking sector.”