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Iran Press TV

Russia slaps counter-sanctions on Ukraine's political elite, businesses

Iran Press TV

Thu Nov 1, 2018 10:49AM

Russia's Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev has signed a decree allowing sweeping financial sanctions against hundreds of Ukrainian politicians and authorities as well as dozens of businesses owned by Ukraine in response to the country's "unfriendly actions" targeting "citizens and legal entities of Russia."

The new punitive measures signed on Thursday were being considered as counter-sanctions and would provide for the freezing of the Russian assets of 68 Ukrainian businesses and 322 individuals, including President Petro Poroshenko's son and former Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"The signed decree introduces special economic measures in relation to individuals and legal entities of Ukraine, providing for the (freezing) of non-cash funds, certain securities and property in Russia as well as a ban on the transfer of funds (withdrawal of capital) outside Russia," the press service of the Russian government said in a statement.

The sanctions also targeted several listed firms, including iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo, poultry producer MHP, and Ukraine's biggest sunflower oil exporter Kernel.

Russian President Vladimir Putin imposed sanctions on Ukraine by signing on October 22 a decree introducing "special economic measures" against Kiev.

Ukraine originally imposed sanctions against Russia in February 2014 over the reunification of Crimea – a former territory of Ukraine – with Russia.

Back then, people in Crimea voted in a referendum to join Russia. Kiev and its Western allies, however, refused to accept the unification, accusing Moscow of illegally "annexing" the peninsula to its territory.

In June 2018, the Ukrainian president signed a decree to expand sanctions on Russian companies and entities. The sanctions would last at least three years and included penalties on Russian lawmakers and top officials.

The Ukrainian sanctions list currently includes more than 1,700 people and over 750 companies.

Washington and its Western allies have also imposed several rounds of sanctions against Russia both over the Crimean unification and an armed conflict that erupted in eastern Ukraine when Kiev launched military operations to quell pro-Russia protests there.

That conflict continues to this day, and according to the United Nations (UN) figures, it has so far left over 10,000 people dead and more than a million others displaced since its onset.

Western countries accuse Russia of supporting pro-Russia forces in the region. Moscow denies the allegation.

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