MOSCOW, August 1 (RIA Novosti) — Russian Envoy to the European Union Vladimir Chizhov said Friday that the EU’s sanctions against Russia are “shooting” and will not help stabilize the Ukrainian crisis.
“In regard to the goals that these sanctions are being imposed for, then, I believe, that this loud shot, or even 'blanks' I would say, is missing the target, because in no way are these sanctions helping the goals announced to de-escalate the situation in Ukraine or in resolving the internal political crisis,” Chizhov said during a live internet conference between Moscow and Brussels.
On Thursday, the European Union officially blacklisted Russia’s biggest state-run banks over Russia’s alleged role in the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis. Sberbank, VTB, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and Rosselkhozbank were barred from raising financing on western capital markets.
The sanctions prohibit the “direct or indirect purchase or sale of, the brokering or assistance in the issuance of, or any other dealing with bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 90 days, issued after 1 August 2014” by major credit institutions or finance development institutions established in Russia, with over 50 percent state ownership.
The European Commission also blacklisted eight individuals close to Russia's President Vladimir Putin.
The new addition brings the number of individuals and entities under EU restrictions to 95 individuals and 23 entities.
The United States also imposed new economic sanctions against Russia on July 29, targeting three major banks — VTB Group, Bank of Moscow and Rosselkhozbank.
The sanctions followed the Malaysia Airlines plane crash in eastern Ukraine, which is largely controlled by independence supporters, on July 17. The European Union and the United States both claim Russian responsibility in supplying the militia with the weapons used to shoot down the airliner with 298 people on board. Moscow denies having sent arms to the militia forces.
The first round of sanctions against Russia was implemented by the United States and the European Union back in March as a response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia following a referendum.
Moscow has repeatedly said that the measures are counterproductive and called the sanctions a “road to nowhere.”