The European Union accepted on Wednesday to sanction hundreds of Russian legislators who vote in to favor of recognize independence of secessionist regions in southeastern Ukraine and a slew of Kremlin heavyweights, including Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.
Sanctions, usually a freeze on the assets of those listed and a ban on they travel in the EU of 27, are the first steps in a project series of retaliatory measures designed be crawled up should Putin launches a attack or push troops deeper into Ukraine. They are expected to take effect later Wednesday.
Putin signed a decree recognizing Donetsk and Luhansk as independent and appears to be leading Russia campaign against Ukraine, but it is not on that of the EU list even if the sanctions target those “involved in the illegal decision.”
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Putin’s leader of the personnelAnton Vaino, were among the senior officials targeted, according to a list of sanctions seen by the Associated Press (AP).
The EU said that under the “command and orders of Shoigu, Russian troops held military drills in illegally annexed Crimea and were positioned on the border. He is finally responsible for any military action against Ukraine.”
It was said that Vaino play “a active role in Kremlin decision-participating manufacturing process in the Russian “Security Council” and influencing the elaboration of decisions by the president in field of Russia defense and national Security.”
The head of the Russian Navy, Nikolay Yevmenov, is also on the list, as well as the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Maria Zakharova and the editor-in-chief of RT-in-Chef Margarita Simonyan – who are both called “a central figure of the government Propaganda.”
“The EU will extend the restrictive measures to cover all 351 members of the Russian State Duma, who vote on February 15 in to favor of the call on President Putin to recognize independence of the self-proclaimed ‘republics’ of Donetsk and Luhansk,” EU headquarters said.
Measures also hit banks that finance the Russian armed forces. They target the ability of Moscow to access capital of the EU and financial markets and services, and prohibit the EU trade with the two regions so that “those responsible clearly feel the economic consequences of their illegal and aggressive actions.
EU foreigner policy Chief Josep Borrell said the sanctions “will hurt Russia and it will hurt a lot”.
But Pyotr Tolstoy, the vice-president of the lower State Duma house of parliament who has been one of Russians hit by the sanctions, laughed at them off and warned that Russia would retaliate with its own measures.
“Every time they apply sanctions against Russia is meaningless and worthless,” Tolstoy told Belgian broadcaster RTBF. on Wednesday. “In fact, we give damn these penalties.
“It gives the impression that the authorities in Brussels is doing something,” he said. facts do nothing.
The measurements are coming on High of a raft of economic sanctions and other slaps on Russia since annexing Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 including steps for force Moscow to comply with the 2015 Minsk peace agreement, which ended major hostilities in eastern Ukraine but now seems overtaken by events.
These sanctions already targeted Russia financialenergy and defense sectors, as well as goods that can be used for both civil and military purposes.
More than 190 people and almost 50 “entities”, which are organizations, agencies, banks or companies, had also were targeted separately by the block for “actively supporting actions and implementation of policies that undermine or threaten territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.”
Over 14,000 people have been killed since 2014 in fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in Eastern Ukraine.