Fresh sanctions on Russia: who is targeted and why
The European Union and United States announced tough new sanctions on Russian companies and individuals Friday to pressure Moscow to cut its support for secessionist rebels in Ukraine.
The EU and US set a 30-day limit on the maturity of new financing that can be made available to Russia's largest bank, Sberbank, and other leading banks. That cinches tighter the banks' access to liquidity funding, restricting their ability to lend money and to grow.
OIL AND GAS
EU and US businesses were banned from supporting or taking part in exploration activities in the Arctic, anywhere offshore, or in shale-based deposits, that involve top energy companies Lukoil, Gazprom, Rosneft, and Surgutneftgas.
That will make ongoing projects more difficult to implement, including specific projects that already involve Exxon Mobil, BP and Shell.
Meanwhile both sides made it harder for Russian energy companies to finance projects. The EU blocked access to its capital markets for Rosneft, Transneft and Gazprom Neft, while the US put a 90 day limit on the maturity of loans for companies including pipeline giant Transneft.
The EU blocked the access to European financing for top arms manufacturers Uralvagonzavod, Oboronprom, and United Aircraft Corporation, which produces Russia's MiG and Sukhoi aircraft.
Iconic small-arms maker Kalashnikov was added to a list of companies to which EU nations are barred from selling technology that could be used for military purposes.
The US meanwhile placed asset freezes on five defense companies, from a missile producer to a manufacturer of air defense systems.
The European Union blacklisted two dozen people, Russians and Ukraine separatists, with travel bans and asset freezes. Included are firebrand Russian nationalist Vladimir Zhirinovsky, and Sergei Chemezov, the head of Rostec, both allies of Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The aim is to hurt the companies and the Russian economy, which officials say has already slowed sharply due to previous sanctions.
But Washington stressed that the sanctions would not interfere with the country's gas and oil supplies to Europe, heavily dependent on Russian natural gas.
Putin said sanctions have "little effect", but the ruble sank to a record low against the dollar and Moscow stock markets fell.
© 2014 AFP