The European Union has released the list of the individuals and entities targeted in the EU’s latest round of sanctions against Russia for Moscow’s actions in destabilizing Ukraine.
The list includes three longtime acquaintances of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Arkady Rothenberg is Putin’s judo sparring partner and a major shareholder in the Russian state-owned company conducting a feasibility study to build a bridge connecting Russia to the illegally annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea.
Yury Kovalchuk is the chairman and largest shareholder of Bank Rossiya, “which is considered the personal bank of senior officials of the Russian Federation,” and has opened branches across Crimea and Sevastopol, “thereby consolidating their integration into the Russian Federation.”
Nikolai Shamalov, the second-largest shareholder in Bank Rossiya, is also on the list.
The first deputy chief of staff of the Russian presidential administration, Aleksei Gromov, is on the list, targeted for “instructing Russian media outlets to take a line favorable with the separatists in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea.”
New EU sanctions were also placed on officials from territories in eastern Ukraine held by pro-Russian separatists.
The chairman of the so-called Supreme Council of the self-proclaimed “Donetsk People’s Republic,” Boris Litvinov is on the list as is Oksana Tchigrina, the spokeswoman for the so-called government of the self-proclaimed “Luhansk People’s Republic.”
Sergei Abisov, the so-called interior minister of the “Republic of Crimea,” had sanctions placed on him for actions that undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and unity of Ukraine.
Konstantin Malofeyev was also hit with sanctions. The EU said Malofeyev was “closely linked to Ukrainian separatists in eastern Ukraine and Crimea” and was a former employee of separatist leader Aleksandr Borodai.
Three business entities were also on the sanctions list — the joint stock concern Almaz-Antey Defense Corporation; Dobrolet, a subsidiary of a Russian state-owned airline; and the Russian National Commercial Bank.
The Russian National Commercial Bank was the first Russian bank into Crimea after the region’s annexation earlier this year.
As the EU released its new list of sanctions the leaders of the G7 group of leading developed countries also released a statement saying they were prepared to place even tougher sanctions on Russia if Moscow did not stop taking actions that destabilize the situation in Ukraine.
A G7 statement released by the White House said, “Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions,” but warned, “If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions.”