EU sanctions Putin’s cronies as G7 nations say more may come

The European Union yesterday extended sanctions against the Russian government to another group of individuals and organisations, freezing the assets of “cronies” of Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to one EU official.

The eight individuals included Arkady Rotenberg, a friend of Putin, who has benefitted from public contracts and the gains of Moscow’s state-owned firms.

The Russian National Commercial Bank, defence firm Amaz-Antey and Dobrolet, a subsidiary of one of the country’s government-owned airlines, were the major businesses placed on the list.

A statement from the heads of government of the G7 nations said that they stood ready to “further intensify the costs” for the Russian state if it did not “stop its support for the separatists in eastern Ukraine and tangibly participate in creating the necessary conditions for the political process”.

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