EU and US to Freeze Putin’s and Lavrov’s Assets
After the European Union and Great Britain, the US government has also imposed sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin and several of his ministers. Those affected include Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and the head of the domestic intelligence service FSB, Alexander Bortnikov, and other leading government officials, as the US Treasury Department said.
“It is exceptionally rare for the Treasury Department to impose sanctions on a leader. President Putin joins a very small group that includes despots like Kim Jong Un, Alexander Lukashenko and Bashar al-Assad,” the US Treasury Department said.
The US government holds Russia accountable for the brutal and unprovoked attack on the Ukrainian people. If necessary, the US is ready to impose further sanctions.
Now any possible assets of the persons concerned in the US are frozen. US citizens and companies are largely forbidden to do business with them or support them financially. If those affected have no assets in the US – which seems likely in the case of Putin and Lavrov – the sanctions are still not only of symbolic importance. They make international transactions difficult for those affected because Western banks and companies do not want to violate US sanctions.
The EU had also decided on direct sanctions against Putin and Foreign Minister Lavrov. After a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Brussels, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said that Putin and Lavrov are now on the sanctions list along with those members of the Russian parliament “who support this aggression”.
Possibly existing assets of the two politicians in the EU are to be frozen. According to the latest information, they should be allowed to enter the EU for diplomatic talks. It is still unclear whether Putin and Lavrov have assets in the EU that could be frozen.