Russia Slaps Sanctions On Ukraine Politicians, Businesses

Russian President Vladimir Putin / AFP

 

Russia on Thursday imposed financial sanctions on hundreds of Ukrainian individuals and dozens of companies, in what it described as countermeasures for Kiev’s actions against Moscow. 

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev signed the document published by the government’s press service that called for Russian assets of 322 Ukrainian citizens and 68 businesses to be frozen.

On the list are Yulia Tymoshenko, a former prime minister who is among the favourites for president in polls next year, and Interior Minister Arsen Avakov.

The defence minister and the parliament speaker also feature, along with several chemical and mining companies.

Moscow said the sanctions were linked to “unfriendly actions by Ukraine in relation to Russian citizens and legal entities”.

The Kremlin said it would be prepared to remove the sanctions if it saw the “political will” to normalise relations from Kiev’s side.

“At the moment we do not see this,” presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told a regular press briefing.

Tymoshenko wrote on her Facebook page she was “little concerned” by the sanctions against her as she did not have a business presence in Russia.

Ukrainian political analyst Volodymyr Fesenko meanwhile said many figures would use their appearance on the list as a badge of honour.

“The important thing is not who’s on the list, but who’s off it… for some (who are sanctioned) it will even help them at election time,” he wrote on social media.

Russia and Ukraine have been locked in a bitter feud since the annexation of Crimea in 2014.

Moscow has been accused of fuelling a rebel conflict in eastern Ukraine that has cost the lives of some 10,000 people.

Kiev has brought in a number of measures to limit activity with Russian companies.

Last year it also blocked access to Russia’s most popular social media networks and the Yandex search engine.

The US and Europe have already brought in several rounds of sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine.

AFP

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