‘Responsible’ Europe will ignore Putin’s ‘humiliating demands’ on gas, Ukraine says

British Foreign Secretary Liz Truss announced new sanctions on Russian and Belarusian citizens and businesses on Thursday, targeting “key industries supporting Russia’s illegal invasion”.

Britain’s Foreign Secretary Liz Truss arrives at Downing Street on March 8 in London, England. (Leon Neal/Getty Images)

The latest sanctions target 65 people and entities, including six banks, Russian Railways, a defense company and the Wagner Group, a secret Russian military contractor believed to be linked to – and financed by – Yevgeny Prigozhin, an oligarch so close to the Kremlin that he is known as the “leader” of President Vladimir Putin.

Those newly sanctioned include oil tycoon Eugene Shvidler, Tinkoff Bank founder Oleg Tinkov and Herman Gref, the CEO of Russia’s largest bank Sberbank.

The latest announcement also sees the Russian-installed mayor of Melitopol sanctioned. This is the first time an individual has been sanctioned for collaborating with Russian forces currently in Ukraine, the Foreign Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) said.

More than 1,000 people and entities have now been sanctioned, according to the FCDO.

The latest asset freezes bring the aggregate value of assets of sanctioned banks, now including Russia’s largest private bank Alfa-Bank, to £500 billion ($658 billion). The net worth of sanctioned oligarchs and family members exceeds £150bn, the FCDO has said.

“These oligarchs, corporations and hired thugs are complicit in the murder of innocent civilians and it is right that they pay the price. Putin must be under no illusions, we are united with our allies and we will continue to tighten the screws the Russian economy. to make sure it fails in Ukraine. There will be no respite,” Truss said.

Others will likely come from the United States and its allies. US President Joe Biden is in Europe for a high-stakes trip that includes meetings with EU, NATO and G7 leaders. He hopes to emerge from an intense day of meetings on Thursday with new actions to announce alongside his partners: new sanctions against Russia, measures to cut off its oil and gas profits, or even new announcements of military or financial aid to the ‘Ukraine.

The sanctions already announced by the West against Russian oligarchs and the Russian central bank mean that the country’s economy will be isolated for years. It is facing its deepest recession since the 1990s, and gross domestic product will fall 22% in 2022, according to a forecast released Tuesday by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

CNN’s Charles Riley and Kevin Liptak contributed to this post.

Mary I. Bruner