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At the meeting, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia Sergei Lavrov informed that Kiev continued making controversial statement regarding relations with Russia. “In particular, there were statements made about either their withdrawal or suspension of participation in the Commonwealth of Independent States and intention to introduce visa regime with Russia. In this situation, if it comes to this, we would also inform you about our proposals,” the head of the diplomatic service said.
“As concerns the first case — the US sanctions, and the second case — Ukraine’s introduction of visa regulations, I think we should still refrain from retaliatory moves,” he told a meeting of the Russian Security Council on Friday.
“First of all, I’m speaking about visa rules with Ukraine. If we introduce visa regulations, millions of innocent Ukrainians, who are not wealthy even without this, work in Russia and earn not a big money to support their families, will suffer. We don’t need to do this,” Putin said.
The USA, the EU and several other countries have imposed sanctions against Russia because of its stance regarding the status of Crimea. The US and the EU have published black lists of Russian and Ukrainian officials, against whom personal sanctions are introduced. In particular, this refers to assets freezing.
In addition, the USA included in the list the only legal entity – bank ‘Russia’ controlled by Yury Kovalchuk, arresting US-based assets of this crediting organization.
Japan has suspended consultations with Russia over easing of visa regime. Australia imposed focused financial sanctions and ban on the entry of 12 people, who “play a key role in determining Russia’s policy that threatens the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine”. Australia hasn’t made public the black list to avoid disinvestment.
Western countries agreed to suspend preparations for the G8 summit due in Sochi in June.
March 20, the Russian Ministry of Foreign Affairs imposed reciprocal sanctions against a number of American officials and lawmakers. The black list includes: Caroline Atkinson, Deputy Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for International Economics; Daniel Pfeiffer, Assistant to the President of the United States and Senior Advisor to the President for Strategy and Communications; Benjamin Rhodes, Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategic Communication for to the President; Harry Reid, Senate Majority Leader; John Boehner, Speaker of the United States House of Representatives; Robert Menendez, Chairman of the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations; Mary Landrieu, senator; John McCain, senator; Daniel Coats, senator.