On November 1st, Russia announced sanctions on 322 Ukrainian individuals and 68 companies. A large portion of the sanctioned individuals are part of Kiev’s political elite.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev approved the restrictions against former Ukrainian prime minister Yulia Tymoshenko, the eldest son of current president Petro Poroshenko, as well as several cabinet ministers and the leaders of Ukraine’s security apparatus. Tymoshenko is a current favorite in Ukraine’s 2019 Presidential election. Other sanctioned officials are: Poroshenko’s other son, Oleksiy; Interior Minister Arsen Avakov; Security Service chief Vasyl Hrytsak; Deputy Prime Minister Ivanna Klympush-Tsintsadze; Arseniy Yatsenyuk; the former leader of the ultranationalist Right Sector group, Dmytro Yarosh.
Among the sanctioned are also several businessmen, including billionaire Victor Pinchuk and Pavel Fuchs, a property developer who once unsuccessfully tried to build a Trump Tower in Moscow. The sanctions also targeted several listed companies, including iron ore pellet producer Ferrexpo poultry producer MHP and Ukraine’s biggest sunflower oil exporter Kernel.
These sanctions are a delayed response to the Ukrainian sanctions against Russian officials and businesses, announced by Poroshenko in May. All of the sanctioned individuals’ and businesses’ accounts in Russian banks will be frozen and all their property will be seized, according to a Russian statement.
According to the statement, the goal of the measure is “to counter Ukraine’s unfriendly activities towards Russian citizens and entities, and to normalize bilateral relations.”
“Of course, we hope that sooner or later the political will to normalize relations with Russia will sprout on Ukrainian soil. For now we don’t see that,” Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited.
These sanctions come 10 days after President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting the stage for “special economic measures” against Ukraine, instructing the government to draft a list of Ukrainian firms and individuals to be targeted for economic sanctions.
On October 23, Medvedev said Moscow was preparing sanctions that will also ban imports to Russia of some Ukrainian products.
On May 24th, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko announced sanctions against Russian officials and businesses. They included more than 400 companies and 1000 individuals. The set of sanctions targeted persons doing business in the Crimea and supplying weapons to Russia, similar to US sanctions.
Earlier, in March 2017, Ukraine imposed sanctions on five Russian-owned banks operating in the country after the Russian government forced their parent groups operating on the Russian market to accept clients using passports from the breakaway Donetsk and Lugansk republics. Sberbank, VTB, BM Bank, Prominvestbank and VS Bank were blocked from transferring funds to their subsidiary or parent companies outside of Ukraine for the next year.
Even earlier than that on September 16th, 2015, Ukraine imposed sanctions on businesses and individuals “in connection with Russian aggression in Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.” For a period of one year. The sanctions were imposed on individuals and companies from various countries and sectors.