Zelensky sanctions thousands of Russians
President Vladimir Zelensky has signed a decree adopting a decision of the Ukraine’s National Security and Defense Council (NSDC) to sanction over two thousand Russian business persons and officials and over a thousand Russian companies.
The document, which was published on the president’s website on Thursday, lists a total of 2,507 names and 1,374 legal entities. Among those sanctioned are Russian billionaires Roman Abramovich, Arkady Rotenberg, Mikhail Prokhorov, Senator Suleiman Kerimov and Leonid Mikhelson – CEO of gas giant Novatek, among others.
The list also includes cultural and sports figures such as four-time Olympic medalist figure skater Evgeni Plushenko and MMA fighters Alexander and Fedor Emelianenko, as well as several prominent media personalities.
Among the legal entities featured in the presidential decree are Russian telecommunication giant Rostelecom, Alfa-Bank, diamond miner and manufacturer Alrosa, energy company RusHydro and the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
The sanctions are set to last from five to ten years and all on the list will have all their assets in the country blocked and will be restricted from any trading operations, from transit through the territory of Ukraine and from flights to and from the country. Additionally, all economic and financial obligations as well as licenses and permits will also be suspended.
The move comes after Zelensky signed another decree earlier this month, approving a decision by the NSDC to declare it “impossible” to hold any negotiations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Moscow, in turn, has accused Kiev of repeatedly undermining any potential for a peaceful resolution to the conflict. Last week, Putin recalled that Russia and Ukraine had reached a preliminary agreement in late March which could have halted hostilities. “But as soon as the troops were pulled back from Kiev, the leadership in Kiev lost all desire to have talks,” the Russian leader said.
Ukraine and a number of Western nations have introduced sweeping sanctions on Russian businesses and citizens after Moscow launched a military offensive against Ukraine in late February, citing Kiev’s failure to implement the Minsk agreements, designed to give the regions of Donetsk and Lugansk special status within the Ukrainian state.