KIEV, July 23 (RIA Novosti) – Ukraine plans to impose sanctions against Russians who in Kiev’s opinion directly or indirectly support separatists and terrorists, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk said Wednesday.
“A committee has been created to impose sanctions against the Russian Federation. The committee will consist of the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, economic and financial blocs, power and law enforcement structures. Ukraine will impose sanctions on every single individual who has a Russian passport and who supports terrorists and separatists in Ukraine either directly or indirectly,” Yatsenyuk said.
The conflict in Ukraine broke out after a February ouster of then President Viktor Yanukovych, following which southeastern regions of the country refused to recognize the legitimacy of Kiev’s new authorities. In mid-April, Kiev launched a special operation to suppress the militia in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, and the two sides have been in conflict ever since.
Ukraine and the West claim that Russia has been supplying the militia with weapons. Moscow has repeatedly said that it is not involved in the standoff between pro-Kiev forces and independence supporters, underlining that there are neither Russian security agents nor troops in the conflict area.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that there are no grounds for accusing Russia of escalating the situation in southeast Ukraine. The Defense Ministry repeatedly emphasized that Russia does not provide the militia with military equipment, ammunition and other forms of aid.