Ruslan Bortnik: The Ukrainian Entities That Won’t Fall Under Russia’s Sanctions Will Be Called “Agents of the Kremlin”

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard


The Russian government is finishing its preparation of special economic measures concerning Ukrainian legal entities and individuals undertaken in response to the sanctions of Kiev against Moscow.

This was reported by TASS with reference to an informed source.

“In the near future the document will be transferred for the signature of the Prime Minister, and after it’s signed – it will be published. The countermeasures will concern about 360 companies and will affect more than 50 natural persons,” reported the interlocutor of the publication.

The names of the Ukrainian citizens who fall under the reciprocal Russian sanctions haven’t been disclosed. However it is known that among them there will be most odious opponents of dialogue with Moscow.

The source emphasised that Ukrainian citizens are expected by “many interesting revelations” about their leaders, who adhere to “radical views concerning relations between the two countries” but at the same time don’t disdain for having the opportunity “to earn money from these relations”.

As a reminder, on October 22nd the Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a decree on special economic measures against Ukraine. According to the document, it is entrusted to the government to develop reciprocal sanctions on the “unfriendly and contrary to international law” actions of Kiev.

In turn the prime minister of the Russian Federation Dmitry Medvedev explained that the sanctions will be directed not against Ukrainians in general, but will touch the persons doing harm to the interests of Russia.

This concerns the freezing of assets on the territory of Russia, as well as limiting the export of some goods produced by sanctioned Ukrainian enterprises.

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The Ukrainian political scientist Ruslan Bortnik stated at a press conference in Kiev that the announced sanctions of Russia against Ukrainian oligarchs is high quality trolling, since those representatives of the Kiev elite who won’t be included in “black lists” in the Russian Federation will automatically become “agents of the Kremlin” [in Ukraine – ed].

“Certainly, [the sanctions] it is an attempt to influence elections in Ukraine – at many levels and in different directions. But it is also trolling.

Think about it: Russia, the ‘state aggressor’ from the point of view of the Western world and Ukraine, imposes sanctions or counter-sanctions. Such political trolling, in reality, isn’t completely understandable for us, but it works well at international platforms. It once again must emphasise the fact that Russia: a) doesn’t start any processes of confrontation, b) considers itself to completely have the right, without violating any international rules, to introduce such actions,” said the political scientist.

“In reality, the regime of sanctions is an interesting regime, which is very difficult to challenge judicially, and it will be interesting to see whether Ukrainian companies will opt to challenge it in Russian courts.

At the same time, it is a discrediting element: imagine that the sanctions will be imposed on Roshen or the SKM group. And imagine if these sanctions aren’t imposed on them.

It is unclear what’s worse: being, in the opinion of society, a ‘shackled patriot’ or an ‘agent of the Kremlin’,” added Ruslan Bortnik.

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