Russia's sanctions against 322 Ukrainian citizens and 68 companies come as a serious blow to the economy of Ukraine. The sanctions block non-cash funds, securities and property on the territory of the Russian Federation. They also prohibit the transfer of Ukrainian capital out of Russia.
However, the Russian authorities have not sanctioned the Ukrainian oligarchs, who finance the war in the Donbass. Ukraine's top Russophobes - President Petro Poroshenko, oligarchs Igor Kolomoisky and Rinat Akhmetov do not appear on Russia's black lists either. Has Russia struck a serious blow on Ukraine indeed?
We asked this question to experts.
According to political analyst and publicist Leonid Krutakov, Poroshenko is the head of state, whom Russia has recognized as the legitimate president of Ukraine. "Poroshenko is under diplomatic protection. In general, the Russian government has done its best not to cause too much harm to the Ukrainian economy. This is not a shot, but a warning," Leonid Krutakov told Pravda.Ru.
Ukrainian economist and political scientist Oleg Soskin shares a different opinion. "These sanctions have struck a serious blow to Ukrainian companies and target the Russian market in the first place. For example, all enterprises of the chemical industry for the production of fertilizers are associated with Russian raw materials and Russian technologies. Now they will have to be either closed or reoriented to other markets.
"Kolomoisky does not live in Ukraine, his business was taken away from him. He is cautious when it comes to saying something about Russia. Akhmetov depends a lot on Donbass companies and retail chains there. He ensures the life-sustaining activity of the region and does not release any anti-Russian statements in public either," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
"There is such a thing as the sanctions chain. If one imposes sanctions on individuals, they lose all their connections in Russia. They will dislike Poroshenko even more, because they consider him guilty of all their trouble. They believe that Poroshenko is profiting from war, but does not appear on Russia's black lists," Oleg Soskin told Pravda.Ru.
According to Vladimir Rozhankovsky, an expert with the International Financial Center, Russia's sanctions come as a response to US restrictions imposed on Russian entrepreneurs, such as Boris Rotenberg and Oleg Deripaska, whose accounts and assets were blocked. "Russia can't do the same to US entrepreneurs, because the FATCA law prohibits the Americans from opening accounts in foreign countries. Russia is sending a message to Washington in a way. Moscow put Yulia Tymoshenko on the list of sanctions being aware that she is not going to be Ukraine's next president. If she is going to run, she will have to negotiate with Moscow before," Vladimir Rozhankovsky said.
Vladimir Rozhankovsky believes that Russia must expand the area of presence of the Russian ruble capital. "We need to make the ruble present on the accounts of as many neighboring states as possible so that they would spend their rubles on contracts with Russia," the expert told Pravda.Ru.
Russian President Vladimir Putin got the West worried again by signing Decree No. 915. The news did not produce any public effect in Russia