By Alexander Miller, emerging markets consultant – Eurasia Business News, February 26, 2022

The Russian President Vladimir Putin, heading a meeting of the Security Council of the Russian Federation February 21 2022, at the Kremlin, Moscow.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov are on the list of people sanctioned by the European Union, announced on Friday February 25 the head of European diplomacy Josep Borrell.

EU sanctions also target the Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Deputy Chairman of the Security Council Dmitry Medvedev, Interior Minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

The EU has blacklisted them due to the Russian military operation in Ukraine started in the early morning of February 24. In total, the EU blacklist includes 98 representatives of the country’s leadership, parliamentarians, Russian officials, as well as high-ranking military commanders of border bases and various units in Belarus.

In addition to freezing the assets the Russian President and Minister of Foreign Affairs, the EU impose restrictive measures on the members of the National Security Council of the Russian Federation who supported Russia’s immediate recognition of the two non-government controlled areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk oblasts of Ukraine as independent entities. Sanctions will also be extended to the remaining members of the Russian State Duma, who ratified the government decision of the Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between the Russian Federation and the two entities, reported the official press release.

Furthermore, the EU will also target individuals, who facilitated the Russian military operation from Belarus. That means that sanctions against Belarusian officials will be taken. The relationship between the European Union and Belarus has deteriorated since August 2020, after the controversial reelection of Aleksandr Lukashenka, President of Belarus since 1994.

“ It’s an important step. The only leaders in the world sanctioned by the EU are Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and President of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenka, and therefore now Putin for Russia”, said Josep Borrell during a press conference. 

Austrian Foreign Minister Alexander Schallenberg said tha this decision is “a unique step in history toward a nuclear power, a country that has a permanent seat on the Security Council.” 

The sanctions against Vladimir Putin and Sergey Lavrov are “ the same ” as those provided for the other personalities mentioned on this European blacklist, including “ the freezing of assets ”, explained Josep Borrell. London has taken similar sanctions against the head of the Kremlin and his foreign minister. All members of the Duma, the lower house of the Russian Parliament, are now on the EU list, along with 26 business figures. Sanctioned individuals are also prohibited from entering European territory.

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