Putin judo partner among Russians hit by sanctions

Three long-time Putin associates are among the list of individuals who have been hit with new European Union sanctions, including Putin's former judo partner Arkady Rotenberg.

Eight Russians, and companies including Russian National Commercial Bank were targeted with the new sanctions.

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Putin's judo partner among Russians hit by sanctions

Three long-time Putin associates are among the list of eight individuals who have been hit with new European Union sanctions, including Putin's former judo partner Arkady Rotenberg.

Prime Minister Putin taking part in a judo training session at the Moscow sports complex St Petersburg in 2010. Credit: Reuters

The US and European Union also announced a raft of new penalties to limit the trade of arms and technology that can be used in the oil industry and for military purposes.

The EU also put its capital markets off limits for Russian state-owned banks.

US officials said roughly 30% of Russia's banking sector assets would now be constrained by sanctions.

US and European leaders said they are prepared to intensify sanctions unless it moves to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine. In a statement this evening, the G-7 leaders said:

Russia still has the opportunity to choose the path of de-escalation, which would lead to the removal of these sanctions. If it does not do so, however, we remain ready to further intensify the costs of its adverse actions.

– G7 Leaders Statement on Ukraine

EU sanctions will 'inevitably lead to higher energy prices'

EU sanctions will "inevitably" lead to higher energy prices on the European market, Russia has claimed.

Russian Foreign Ministry said Brussels itself is "creating barriers" for cooperation in the energy sector.

The European Union and US agreed new sanctions against Russia, targeting financial, oil and defence industries.

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said today the European Union sanctions imposed on Russia are hurting the country's economy.


Russia: 'Destructive' sanctions will hurt United States

Russia called new US sanctions "destructive and short-sighted" on Wednesday and said they would only aggravate ties between Russia and the United States, already at their lowest point since the end of the Cold War over the Ukraine crisis.

"Such decisions by Washington can bring nothing but further aggravation of U.S.-Russia relations and create an utterly unfavourable environment in international affairs, where the cooperation between our states often plays a decisive role," Russia's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"The de-facto losses from this destructive and short-sighted policy will be quite tangible for Washington."

Hammond: Sanctions are hurting Russian economy

Sanctions imposed on Russia are having an affect on the economy according to Philip Hammond, the Foreign Secretary.

He said Russia's predicted economic growth for this year had gone from 2.5 per cent before sanctions to "roughly zero".

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said sanctions were weakening the Russian economy. Credit: ITN

"It is having a cost on Russia it is having a disproportionate cost on the group of people that supports and sustains the Kremlin leadership," Mr Hammond said.

"I hope they will be urging a more considered response by the Russian leadership."

He also said the Government was due to announce a new set of sanctions against Vladimir Putin's government later today.

EU sanctions meant as a 'strong warning' to Russia

European Union sanctions against Russia were meant as a "strong warning" that Russia's actions in Ukraine, according to Europe's top two officials.

In a joint statement the president of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso, and European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said: "The European Union will fulfill its obligations to protect and ensure the security of its citizens. And the European Union will stand by its neighbours and partners."

The measures will shut major state-owned Russian banks out of European capital markets and target the defence sector and sensitive technologies, including oil. But they will exclude the vital gas sector, on which Europe is heavily dependent.

Barroso and Van Rompuy also warned that they would bring "heavy costs" to Russia's economy.

Apart from agreeing on the economic measures, ambassadors also signed off on a new list of Putin's associates and companies that will face asset freezes and visa bans under previous measures.

Eight more officials including four members of the Russian leader's inner circle, are also expected to be added the current list of 87.

The sanctions will initially last a year but will be reviewed after three months on Oct. 31 to determine their impact on Moscow's behaviour, diplomats said

The EU does more than 10 times as much trade with Russia as the United States.


US expands sanctions against Russia

The US expanded the list Russian businesses to be subjected to sanctions because Moscow's support for separatists in Eastern Ukraine, the US Treasury Department said.

Almost all the largest banks with state ownership of over 50 percent were affected, including the Bank of Moscow and the Russian Agriculture Bank.

The sanctions limits the dealings US citizens and companies can have with them.

Sanctions have also been imposed on a shipbuilding company based in St. Petersburg. Any assets held in the US have been frozen and American companies have been prohibited from dealing with them.

PM: Sanctions are a 'tough message' to Russia

European Union sanctions will send a "very tough message" to Russia, according to Prime Minister David Cameron.

EU Sanctions will send a tough message to Russia, according to the Prime Minister. Credit: Oli Scarff/PA Wire

He said: "The sanctions really relate to Vladimir Putin's and Russia's behaviour, and we want to make it absolutely clear that Russia's behaviour in destabilising another country - Ukraine - is unacceptable."

He added: "It was very clear in my conference call with President Obama, President Hollande, Chancellor Merkel and prime minister Renzi yesterday that we are united in sending that very tough message. It's a message that will be backed by tough action."

The measures will shut state-owned Russian banks out of European capital markets and target the defense sector and sensitive technologies, including oil.

However the the gas sector, on which Europe is heavily dependent, is not expected to be included when the sanctions which are likely to be announced tomorrow.

Rifkind: Tougher Russia sanctions required

Former foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has called for tougher sanctions to ensure Russia changes policy in eastern Ukraine, describing previous measures against Vladimir Putin "pretty useless".

Sir Malcolm Rifkind was foreign secretary in John Major's government. Credit: PA

"When you get into the situation of preventing them having access to financial markets, preventing high quality technology exports to their energy industry, that goes to the very heart of the Russian economy," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

Sir Malcolm said world leaders must make clear to Mr Putin that he needs to leave the Ukrainians to "resolve their own problem", by ceasing to provide military equipment and other support to separatist rebels.

However, he described Nick Clegg's call for Russia to lose hosting rights to the 2018 World Cup as "pretty amateur", adding: "A heck of a lot is going to happen between now and then."

Russia attacks 'hypocritical' UN over human rights claims

Russia's says a UN human rights report criticising pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine was "hypocritical".

The paper on fighting in the region argued that "a reign of fear and terror" had been inflicted on the people by armed militia backed by Russia.

It suggested rebels were using torture and detention to "exercise their power over the population in raw and brutal ways".

Russia's Foreign Ministry described the report as "unobjective and even hypocritical", adding that it failed to mention the detentions of Russian journalists in eastern Ukraine and the reported use of heavy rockets by the Ukrainian army against civilians.

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