Ukraine crisis: Kiev ready to sanction Russia in fight to stop ‘financing terrorism’

Prime Minister wants sanctions against 172 Russian citizens and 65 companies

Ukraine has retaliated against Russia, which it accuses of supporting the separatist rebels in Donetsk, by proposing its own set of sanctions against Russian citizens and companies.

Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk said on Friday the Ukrainian government is prepared to impose sanctions against 172 Russian citizens and 65 Russian companies, which have been identified as “financing terrorism”.

The proposed legislation would allow Ukraine to impose a “partial or full ban on the transit” of resources from Russia, air flights and road traffic through Ukrainian territory.

In response to the questions regarding Russian gas, and whether the sanctions would prevent it from being transported through the Ukraine to the rest of Europe, Mr Yatseniuk said: "I spoke about all the measures which could be included in the (proposed) law.

“This includes the possible halting of all types of transit, from air flights to transit of resources."

The announcement comes a day after Russia said it would impose a “full embargo” on all imports of food from the West for a whole year, in response to the US and EU-led sanctions against the country for its actions in Ukraine.

Russia’s ban on Western products covers meat, dairy, fish, vegetables, fruit, nuts and cheese, and covers regions from the EU to Australia, Canada and Norway.

Mr Yatseniuk said that if the measures are approved by parliament, a list of individuals could face visa restrictions in and out of the country, while the companies would have their assets frozen, their trade operations limited and all capital would be banned from withdrawal from the country.

"The Ukrainian state will find the property of banks, finance companies, businesses, personal property around the world of all those who supported the annexation of Crimea and who now support and fund Russian terrorists on Ukrainian territory," he said.

The measures could hit Russia’s deep penetration of Ukraine’s telecommunications, banking, property, energy and services markets, Reuters reports. The suggestion that Russian gas would be stopped from being transported through Ukraine already sent prices up on the London market on Friday, the agency added.