More US Sanctions to Target Russia Energy Sector CEOs

MOSKOVA (CIHAN)- The United States is expected to unveil a new batch of anti-Russia sanctions Monday that will target two executives of the country’s biggest energy firms, Gasprom and Rosneft, the New York Times reports.

“The sanctions to be announced as early as Monday would single out more people close to President Vladimir V. Putin as well as certain companies. Among them are likely to be Igor Sechin, president of the state-owned Rosneft oil company, and Aleksei Miller, head of the state-owned energy giant Gazprom,” the paper cited its sources in the White House as saying.

The rumors of Rosneft CEO Sechin’s possible inclusion in the US sanctions list appeared in the news before, but were never confirmed. If put through, the measures will freeze assets of more Russian dignitaries and economic heavyweights. They will also ban US companies and individuals from doing business with the targeted firms.

In a broader format, US sanctions will seek to block whole sectors of Russian economy, such as high-tech exports and banking that American experts, tasked with earmarking the targets, hope will send ripples across the Russian market.

US President Obama told reporters during his Asia trip that the European Union needed to show an undivided front in the face of Moscow and called on the EU to follow the US lead. This came as the previous plan to hit Russia with sanctions fell apart while Washington waited on Europe to catch up with it.

On Saturday, G7 accused Russia of failing to follow through on the Geneva accords that aimed to de-escalate the crisis in Ukraine. The members of G7 threatened Moscow with tougher sanctions over its role in Crimea’s secession vote.

Moscow criticized Washington for using the “language of sanctions” against it, saying the move was counterproductive. (CihanRia Novsoti)