Ukraine agrees on sanctions against 351 Russian lawmakers who support self-proclaimed Donbas republics’ recognition

February 23, Verkhovna Rada appealed to the National Security and Defense Council of Ukraine (NSDC) to impose sanctions against politicians and officials of the Russian Federation, involved in the recognition of the so-called “Donetsk/Luhansk People’s Republics” (“DPR”/”LPR”).

The relevant resolution was generally supported by 322 out of 424 MPs.

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As noted in the document, these persons are directly related to lobbying the interests of the Russian Federation on the territory of Ukraine, occupation of part of Ukraine’s territory, and carrying potential threats to national security, sovereignty, and territorial integrity of Ukraine. In total, the list proposed by the Rada includes 351 persons.

The sanctions include blocking of assets, restriction of trade operations, partial or complete cessation of the transit of resources, flights, and transportation through the territory of Ukraine, prevention of the withdrawal of capital from Ukraine, the suspension of economic and financial obligations, annulment or suspension of special permits for subsoil use; prohibition of participation in privatization, lease of state property; use of the radio frequency resource of Ukraine.

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French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian confirmed that EU sanctions against Russia had been “unanimously agreed to” by the bloc’s top diplomats. EU foreign affairs chief Josep Borrell said the raft of penalties “will hurt Russia, and it will hurt a lot.” The measures will target the 351 lawmakers who voted in favor of the recognition, along with 27 individuals and entities who threaten Ukrainian territory and sovereignty, Borrell said.

February 21, Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to formally recognize the independence of two rebel-controlled regions in eastern Ukraine, breaching the 2015 protocol that ended the conflict in Donbas and further inflaming the tensions between the two countries. Ukraine qualifies Russia’s latest actions as a violation of the sovereignty and territorial integrity of our state, President Volodymyr Zelensky in an address following a meeting of the National Security and Defense Council stated.

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As reported on February 22 by Secretary Blinken, the US is implementing full blocking sanctions on two large Russian financial institutions, VEB and Promsvyazbank, both of which have close links to the Kremlin and the Russian military.  Collectively, they hold more than $80 billion in assets.

In January 2022, Bloomberg reported that the sanctions that are applied to Moscow due to the threat of a military invasion of Ukraine are causing serious damage to the Russian budget. A ban on Western funds buying state-issued debt, costing Russia $10 billion a year A retroactive ban on foreign participation in local state debts, costing $60 billion Halting access to the Swift payment system, which would make it much more difficult for Russia to collect payments on $535 billion of exports a year.