Russians denounce new sanctions: “the height of absurdity”


September 17, 2015 – 


Translated for Fort Russ by J. Arnoldski

“The reaction of Russian politicians and public figures to the expansion of Ukrainian sanctions”

On September 16, President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko signed a decree on expanding the list of sanctions against Russia. The president reported that 388 individuals and 90 entities were included in the list adopted by the Council of National Security and Defense of Ukraine. 

The Russian defense minister, Sergey Shoigu, the head of Chechnya, Ramzan Kadyrov, deputy of the State Duma and head of the Commitee on International Affairs, Alexey Pushkov, Minister of Agriculture Alexander Tkachev, deputy of the State Duma from the Russian Communist Party Valery Rashkin, State Duma speaker Sergey Naryshkin, Minister of Communications Nikolay Nikiforov, and deputy of the State Duma and leader of “A Just Russia” Sergey Mironov ended up on the sanctions list of Ukraine. 

Among the companies included in the list, Aeroflot, Gazpromavia, Bank of Moscow, and anti-virus software manufacturer Kaspersky Lab and its subsidiary in Ukraine are listed. 

In addition, the sanctions list includes media representatives.

“Silence the mouths of human rights defenders”

Member of the presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights, Alexander Brod, believes his inclusion in the sanctions list by Ukrainian authorities is an attempt to silence human rights defenders. 

“Earlier, human rights defenders weren’t on the list. There were journalists and cultural figures. Now they’re turning towards human rights defenders. I think this will be a sign for the international human rights community that the Kiev regime is silencing human rights defenders,” Brod said. 

“Fascists are fascists”

Deputy Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Valery Rashkin, believes that the sanctions imposed against him by the Kiev regime prove that he is is “going down the right path.”

“This not only doesn’t worry me, it means that I’m doing everything right. If fascist thugs condemn me and introduce some lists, this means I’m going down the right path,” Rashkin told TASS, commenting on sanctions introduced against him.

“If I collect humanitarian aid for Donbass because children are dying from hunger, and if I took issue with the property of Poroshenko and ensured that his business was nationalized in Russia (the profits from this business are reaped by fascist elements in Ukraine), then I understand why I ended up on the sanctions list. Fascists are fascists,” he added. 

On this note, he stressed that he stands for friendship and good, neighborly relations with the Ukrainian people. “But this seems to contradict the approach of Poroshenko and his team,” Rashkin added.

“This is a political and state outrage”

The head of the Moscow journalists union, Pavel Gusev, called the sanctions imposed against Russian journalists a political and state outrage. 

“I believe that this is a political and state outrage when there is a war against journalists,” Gusev said, “Yes, there are disagreements at the political level, and there is a hatred of Russian politicians and companies, but journalists – this is a totally different profession.”

According to the head of the Moscow journalists union, today international organizations for the defense of journalists’ rights “aren’t saying a thing about the violation of the rights of Russian media workers in Ukraine on a mass scale.”

“I am extremely surprised that no one is saying a word and there is no pressure. From our side, we call on international organizations to finally pay attention to what is happening in Ukraine,” Gusev said.

In his opinion, “what is happening in Ukraine against journalists is a gross violation of all international norms.”

“It is a big mistake of the Ukrainian authorities,” Gusev concluded. 

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“When authorities ban the entry of human rights defenders and journalists, this is a very bad sign”

The chairman of the presidential council on the development of civil society and human rights, Mikhail Fedotov, believes that the inclusion by Ukrainian authorities of Russian journalists on the sanctions list violates the Helsinki agreements.

“Any lists against journalists are openly contrary to the obligations of all member countries of the OSCE who took upon themselves the final act of the Helsinki conference on security and cooperation in Europe in 1975,” he said commenting on the decision of Ukrainian authorities. “There were special provisions concerning hindering the work of journalists. I hope that the representative of the OSCE on freedom of the press, Dunja Mijatovic, will give say something about this sanctions list. In any case, I see that there is every reason to do so.”

Markin compared Ukraine to Congo

Representative of the Investigative Committee of Russia, Vladimir Markin, compared Ukraine with the African country in connection with the expansion of sanctions against Russian citizens and legal entities.

“And if Congo were to ban the withdrawal of capital to Russia and the entry of Russian citizens?! How would it get away this?,” he wrote on his Twitter.

“Sanctions discredit Euro-American democracy”

In the opinion of the chairman of the State Duma committee on security, Irina Yarovaya, the sanctions should be appraised by the EU and US. 

“Poroshenko’s sanctions against journalists discredit Euro-American democracy,  as they are directly contrary to international law and turn freedom of speech into a hypocrisy,” the parliamentarian told a correspondent of TASS today.

The deputy believes that the “censorship sanctions” “are intended to conceal the truth about Ukraine and the genocide of the inhabitants of Donbass from the world.” 

In Yarovaya’s opinion, “it is monstrous if freedom of speech is understood as a mockery of the murdered children of migrants and silence over the murder of children in Donbass.”

“This is the humanitarian collapse of democracy,” she believes.

“Therefore, it is very important how Europe and the US will respond to this anti-democratic ‘test’ of Poroshenko,” the head of the Duma committee concluded.

“Russia’s response will be adequate”

The head of the state committee on CIS affairs, Eurasian integration, and relations with compatriots, Leonid Slutsky, stated that Russia’s response will be adequate.

“I am sure that the response of Russia, naturally, as is customary in such practices, will be adequate,” he stressed.

In the opinion of the committee head, “the current regime in Kiev, like an idiot parrot, will  mirror all the anti-Russian attacks led by their Western masters, not realizing the harm that is caused to their own country.”

Slutsky doesn’t believe that the new Ukrainian sanctions against Russian deputies “will somehow adversely affect their professional activities or personal plans, or have any serious consequences overall.”

“With all this, I hope that cooperation will be maintained with the constructive minded politicians of Ukraine and parliamentarians of the Rada,” he concluded. 

“The height of absurdity”

The first deputy head of the United Russia faction, Franz Klintsevich called the introduction of sanctions against official Russian entities “the height of absurdity.

“It wouldn’t hurt to think carefully before Russian deputies, including the Chairman of the State Duma, Sergey Naryshkin, are included. By doing this, Ukraine, in the person of its current president, is making even the possibility of dialogue difficult. The new sanctions list of Petr Poroshenko is the height of absurdity,” Klintsevich said. 

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