The Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko has prepared proposals for new anti-Russian sanctions because of the incident in the Kerch Strait. According to him, the document has already been submitted to President Petro Poroshenko and Secretary of the National Security and Defense Council Alexander Turchinov. “I am confident that it is time to put an end to the conduct of Russian business in the country,” Lutsenko said in an interview with ICTV.
Lutsenko believes that Kiev should apply “to individual individuals and legal entities of the Russian Federation personal, special economic and other restrictive measures” in connection with the situation in the Kerch Strait. Among other things, he proposed to block the assets of Russian representatives on the territory of Ukraine “until the complete de-occupation of the country.”
The Prosecutor General also stated that it is necessary to impose restrictions against Russian individuals and legal entities, since “in some areas they have a monopoly” in Ukraine.
In addition, Alexey Makeev, director of the political department of the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry, told about possible anti-Russian sanctions, who arrived in Brussels on December 3 to participate in the NATO talks.
He, in particular, called for a ban on Russian ships from entering European ports. In his opinion, restrictions should also be imposed on those who led the border guards.
All this means one thing: the position of the US and its western partners on the incident off the coast of Crimea, expressed at the G20 summit in Buenos Aires, in Kiev was regarded as a signal for a new diplomatic offensive.
Special attention in Kiev is paid to the key abstracts of an interview with CNN, which was followed by discussion on the G20 incident in the Kerch Strait by US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo. Explaining the reasons for the refusal of Donald Trump to meet with Vladimir Putin, the head of American diplomacy said: President Trump canceled it because “the behavior of the Russians was outrageous and contrary to international law.”
“President Trump wanted to send a clear, unambiguous message that we consider such behavior unacceptable,” Pompeo said. He also called the terms of the dialogue with Moscow put forward by the United States: “The Russians must return the sailors, the ships should be returned to Ukraine.”
It follows from the subtext: if Moscow becomes obstinate, the next tightening of the sectional regime on the part of the United States is quite probable.
Recall that US lawmakers are ready to further expand anti-Russian sanctions. At present, the Congress is considering five bills providing for additional tough measures against Moscow. One of them, prepared by Democratic Senator Robert Menendez and Republican Lindsey Graham, imposes restrictions on operations with the sovereign debt of the Russian Federation and provides for the introduction of sanctions against companies cooperating with enterprises of the energy sector of Russia. The bill, co-authored by Republican Marco Rubio and Democrat Chris van Hollen, prescribes an automatic imposition of sanctions against Moscow if the director of the National Intelligence Service of the United States concludes that the Russian leadership tried to intervene in the course of the midterm elections to Congress, which took place In November.
What is behind the sanctions initiative of Kiev? Will it be supported by the new anti-Russian measures of the West?
“Lutsenko is acting in line with the presidential decree on imposing martial law,” said Nikolai Topornin, former director of the Information Office of the Council of Europe, lecturer at the Department of European and Constitutional Law at the Moscow State Institute of Foreign Relations. – I note that the sanctions list of Ukraine in respect of individuals and legal entities from the Russian Federation and without additional tightening is very wide – it is even longer than the corresponding lists of the EU and the USA. But now Lutsenko proposes to completely block the balances of assets of Russian companies in the “Nezalezhnaya” (Ukraine s popular name). It can be said that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine is trying to copy the comprehensive US sanctions against Iran.
In the Iranian version, I recall, we are also talking about the freezing of assets and the prohibition of trade operations. The Ukrainian “comprehensive” copy is, of course, smaller in scale. But I would not be surprised if it really comes to arresting property and blocking bank accounts of those branches of Russian companies that still remain in Ukraine.
Here you need to understand that such sanctions – a double edged sword. As we know, our trade turnover with Ukraine has grown lately. In the five months of 2018, the turnover between the two countries increased by 28.7% yoy and exceeded $ 5.8 billion. It turns out that, despite the confrontation, the business structures of the Russian Federation and Ukraine cooperate with each other and make money. Perhaps this is what Lutsenko does not like.
– The US and the EU will support the sanctions initiative of Kiev?
- Kiev would really like that. It is no coincidence that the Ukrainian authorities have pedaled the issue of detaining the boats of the Ukrainian Navy in the Kerch Strait – and quite successfully. As a result, the foreign ministers of the Big Seven adopted a joint statement that “there is no justification for the use of military force by Russia against Ukrainian ships and their crew,” and called on Moscow to release the detained Ukrainian sailors. In fact, public opinion in Europe took the side of Kiev.