Ukraine expands sanctions on Russia, blocks media and social networks

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May 16, 2017 – Fort Russ News – 

RIA Novosti – translated by J. Arnoldski – 

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has enacted a decision of Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council to expand the list of Russian citizens and companies under sanctions as well as extend the terms of existing sanctions.

The decree on the president’s website reads: “According to Article 5 of Ukraine’s law ‘On Sanctions’, Ukraine’s Council of National Security and Defense has decided to support the proposals to extend and impose personal, special, economic, and other sanctions submitted by the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine, the Security Service of Ukraine, and the National Bank of Ukraine.”

The appendices to the council’s resolution indicate that the sanctions list has been expanded to include 1,228 individuals and 468 legal entities. The sanctions against legal entities have been expanded from a year to three years, and for individuals up to one year, three years, five years, or indefinitely. 

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Several deputies of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, in particular Aleksey Zhuravlev (from United Russia), Vladimir Rodin, Vladimir Bessonov, and Alexander Kulikov (from the Communist Party of the Russian Federation), Aleksey Didenko (from the Liberal Democratic Party of Russia), and Mikhail Bryachak and Oleg Pakhalkov (from A Just Russia), have ended up on the list. These individuals have been banned from entering Ukraine for a year.

In addition, Kiev has imposed sanctions for a three year period on Russian media, including Russia Today, the Zvezda and TVTs TV channels, Our Radio, NTV Plus, RenTV, and RBK. The sanctions provide for the freezing of these media’s assets. Three-year sanctions have also been imposed on the Russian search engine Yandex. Doktor Veb, Kaspersky’s Laboratory, and the latter’s Kiev division have also landed on the same list. 

To top it all off, Ukrainians have also been blocked from accessing the social networks VKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and resources. 

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Ukraine last introduced sanctions on Russian individuals and legal entities in September 2015. 388 people and 105 companies fell under various forms of sanctions ranging from bans on entering the country to having their properties confiscated. In late August 2016, the sanctions were prolonged and another 250 individuals and 46 legal entities were added. Later in fall 2016, Kiev once again expanded the list and imposed sanctions on Russian payment systems. In March 2017, Ukraine introduced one-year sanctions against all Russian state banks structures operating in Ukraine, such as the Ukrainian divisions of Sberbank, VTB, BM Bank, Prominvestbank, and VS Bank. As a result, they are prohibited from transferring capital out of Ukraine to entities associated with them. 

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