The EU and Canada have announced new sanctions against Russia. The lists include the names of both Russian politicians and supporters of the federalization of Ukraine, plus two Crimean companies. However, it still remains a mystery what the West wants to achieve with these sanctions.
The European list included first deputy head of the presidential administration Vyacheslav Volodin, Airborne Troops Commander Vladimir Shamanov and the head of the Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation Vladimir Pligin, as well as several officials from the Crimea and the leaders of the protest movement in the south-east of Ukraine. The Canadian list includes Chief of General Staff of Russia Valery Gerasimov, Acting Governor of Sevastopol Sergey Menyailo, State Duma Vice Speakers Sergei Neverov and Lyudmila Shvetsova, Russian Minister for Crimea, Oleg Savelyev, Senator in the Federation Council of the Crimea and Sevastopol, Olga Kovitidi, as well as a few people from the Donetsk and Lugansk republics.
Moscow has repeatedly emphasized that one should not do business by introducing sanctions. However, the U.S., the EU and Canada, for some unknown reason, believe that sanctions will contribute to resolving the crisis in Ukraine. However, sanctions against so-called "authorities" in Kiev would be much more effective. All they can do is to conduct an "anti-terrorist operation" in the east of Ukraine.
Russian politicians reacted calmly to the new sanctions. A priority to first deputy head of the presidential administration, Vyacheslav Volodin, is to defend the interests of his country, a source close to him said.
"Mr. Volodin has announced his priorities before - serving his country and defending its interests," said the source. The head of the Duma Committee for Constitutional Legislation, Vladimir Pligin, said that he was in the company of "respectable citizens of our country." "The list includes respected citizens of our country, including my colleagues, and I can say that I am in a decent company. The experience of communication, including in the countries of the European community, can only confirm how important it is to defend national interests of the country, and people understand this in Russia and abroad," he said.
"EU sanctions lists are the lists of patriots, the people who consistently defend the interests of our country. They included representatives of the Crimea administration, Russian parliamentarians, senior military and media executives. Clearly, these lists do not have any relation to foreign assets abroad," said State Duma deputy Olga Batalina. She noted that "Europe is annoyed with Russia's policy aimed to protect national interest, ensure the safety of citizens and Russia's demands to other countries to implement international obligations,"
"Therefore, they sanction only the government officials who implement this national policy," said Olga Batalina.