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G-7 for More Sanctions on Russia
Apr 29, 2014

The US President Barack Obama and top European leaders are moving ahead on a new round of sanctions against Russia. G-7, the Group of Seven nations—Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, UK and US—said that they will move swiftly to impose additional sanctions on Russia. Given the urgency of securing the opportunity for a successful and peaceful democratic vote next month in Ukraine's presidential elections, G-7 nations have committed to act urgently to intensify targeted sanctions and measures to increase the costs of Russia's actions. Each country will determine which targeted sanctions they will impose. These sanctions will be coordinated and complementary, but not necessarily identical.

It likely that the third round of sanctions against Russians and Ukrainians blamed for the unrest in the former Soviet state will again target individuals and entities. Both US and EU officials have already blacklisted more than a dozen individuals including the breakaway leaders in Crimea, annexed by Russia last month.

In a statement, the British prime minister, David Cameron, the US president, Barack Obama, the French prime minister, Francois Hollande, the German chancellor, Angela Merkel, and counterparts from Italy, Japan, and Canada expressed deep concern at the continued efforts by separatists backed by Russia to destabilise eastern Ukraine. They praised the restraint of the government in Kiev and the efforts it had made to implement the agreement reached in Geneva earlier this month.

The statement said, “In contrast, Russia had taken no concrete actions in support of the Geneva accord and had not condemned pro-Russia militants or urged them to leave buildings they have been occupying.”

The new sanctions will target individuals or companies with influence in specific sectors of the Russian economy such as energy and banking. The US and the European Union will announce sanctions separately.

The announcement of new sanctions follows the capture of European military observers in Slavyansk by pro-Russian separatists.The group was operating under the mandate of the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) and comprised four Germans, a Pole, a Dane, a Swede and a Czech officer. They were being escorted by five members of the Ukrainian armed forces when their bus was seized by separatists.

The US & EU imposed New Sanctions: The U.S. and Europe imposed sanctions on Russian government officials and business entities in an effort to pressure Russian President Vladimir and his Ukrainian allies to cease their military activity in eastern Ukraine. But this action fell significantly short of the expansive sanctions Ukraine's government and many members of Congress have been demanding. U.S. and European officials said they held off targeting broad sectors of Russia's economy, including its energy, banking and military industries, due to fears of an economic backlash and concerns that such measures could undermine diplomatic efforts to cooperate with Russia in stabilizing Ukraine.

The White House sanctioned two Russian business executives closely associated with Vladimir Putin and the Kremlin—Sergei Chemezov of Rostec Corp, a technology-focused conglomerate, and Igor Sechin of the energy-supplier OAO Rosneft. The European Union, however, balked at blacklisting any alleged business close to Vladimir Putin due to a mix of legal, diplomatic and economic considerations. European countries are much more tied to Russia's energy trade than the U.S. There's still a lot of nervousness in Europe about heading in that direction.They don't want to burn bridges with the Kremlin.

The U.S. imposed travel bans and asset freezes against seven Russian government officials and businessmen, as well as 17 Russian companies, and announced restrictions on any high-technology trade with Moscow that could benefit its defence companies. The EU blacklisted 15 Russian and Ukrainian officials. The new sanctions signaled the failure of a diplomatic agreement reached April 17 in Geneva among the U.S., EU, Russia and Ukraine that was designed to de-escalate tensions in the former Soviet republic. 

U.S. and European officials said Ukraine was abiding by the deal, which required such steps as disarming militias and offering amnesty to protesters who vacate occupied buildings and surrender any weapons, while Russia essentially ignored it. Both USA and EU drew up their latest lists more than two weeks ago, but held off action to give the Geneva process time to work.


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