Skip to main content

Key aides from Putin's inner circle targeted in new round of EU sanctions

By Nina Dos Santos, CNN
updated 10:08 AM EDT, Mon March 24, 2014
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • CNN exclusive: 12 more individuals to face asset freezes and visa bans
  • Two key aides to President Vladimir Putin and controversial TV anchor on the list
  • 33 officials are now targeted by the EU sanctions against Russia

Editor's note: Nina dos Santos is a CNN news anchor and correspondent based in London. Follow Nina on Twitter for the latest updates on business.

(CNN) -- European Union leaders agreed to earmark 12 more individuals for visa restrictions and asset freezes in the second stage of their four-step plan to prompt Russia to renege on its annexation of Crimea.

The list, which brings the total number of those targeted to 33, puts the Union on a position closer to the United States. The U.S. also added to its tally of targets on Thursday, tightening the noose around President Vladimir Putin's inner circle.

Nina Dos Santos
Nina Dos Santos

Two EU officials confirmed exclusively to CNN that the Speaker of Russia's Upper House, Valentina Matryienko, was among those set to be slapped with sanctions, as was the Deputy Prime Minister Dmirty Rogozin.

Other names among the new additions included two key aides to Putin, Sergey Glazyev and Vladislav Surkov, as well as Dmitry Kisilev, a TV anchor known for his provocative views.

EU members agreed unanimously on the candidacy of some the figures put forward after several hours around the negotiating table at a working dinner which ended after midnight on Thursday.

But some of bloc's 28 states expressed reservations on the names put forward for fear of Russian retaliation, the aides said.

Rogozin, in particular, the official said, was almost blocked by Cyprus and Slovakia, with the latter securing the right to allow him access to its country for meetings of an energy cooperation forum he chairs, one of the officials said.

White House: Russian sanctions 'hilarious'
EU taking careful approach with sanctions
Russian business uneasy after sanctions

Malta also expressed concern about an unnamed candidate for sanctions, but withdrew its objection.

CNN also understands that family members - considered key to the efficacy of any measures- were not explicitly mentioned amid questions about the legality of such a move and the viability of placing travel bans on individuals, who in some occasions are already resident inside the EU.

And for those expecting swathes of Russian industry to feel the brunt of Europe's indignation, there may be disappointment. Despite the US's move to penalise Bank Rossiya, chief executives of the country's largest companies, like Gazprom, Rosneft and VTB Bank, will not feature on the EU's additional file.

What's more: Mr Putin's Chief of Staff Sergey Ivanov and his Minister of Defense Sergey Shoigu -- already frozen out by America -- were left off Europe's list for fear of sending a bellicose signal to Russia.

With many, disparate nations to consider, including some post-Soviet states, the EU has the tough job of balancing competing interests whilst ensuring no one single state will suffer disproportionately from the fallout its sanctions will bring.

This week's steps form part of a four stage process, which will also see Europe punish Russia's financial sector, its energy industry, trade, and its arms business, should the country not respond, people familiar with the discussions confirmed.

Dos Santos: EU should leave trade alone
Sanctions on Russia: Would World Cup boycott hit harder?

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 11:30 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
Russia is accused of being directly involved in Ukraine fighting. Diplomacy has failed, argues one commentator.
updated 9:27 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
It's been building for months. And now, according to some, Russia has launched a "full-scale invasion" of Ukraine.
updated 8:44 AM EDT, Thu August 28, 2014
The EU announces it will pay for temporary storage of butter, skimmed milk powder and certain cheeses
updated 9:43 AM EDT, Sat August 23, 2014
A shopkeeper's mutilated body, relatives' anguish, homes destroyed ... this is Donetsk.
updated 9:38 AM EDT, Sat August 23, 2014
Photojournalist Jonathan Alpeyrie explains how he captured rare images of a rebel funeral, and was arrested for his efforts.
updated 7:12 AM EDT, Tue August 19, 2014
A 20-minute drive from Kiev takes you to a neighborhood that feels more like Beverly Hills than central Ukraine.
updated 12:58 PM EDT, Wed August 27, 2014
Photos illustrate the ongoing crisis in Ukraine as fighting continues to flare in the region.
updated 8:34 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
Western leaders stepped up sanctions, but the Russian President shows no sign of backing down.
updated 7:55 AM EDT, Mon August 4, 2014
Despite mortar fire echoing in the distance, the international team combed through the wreckage of MH17.
updated 7:08 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
The road isn't easy -- past shelling and eerie separatist checkpoints. But where it leads is harder still.
updated 12:31 PM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Future imports, exports between the EU and Russia are now banned -- but existing contracts continue.
updated 11:10 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
More Russian aggression in Ukraine. More U.S. and European sanctions imposed on Moscow.
updated 8:01 PM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
Deadly violence, ongoing tensions and the deliberate downing of a passenger airplane. Why should Americans worry?
updated 12:42 PM EDT, Fri July 18, 2014
The shooting down of MH17 may finally alert Washington and Europe to the danger of the conflict in Ukraine.
updated 7:04 PM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
The United States and its allies are angrier at Russia now over Ukraine, but will they do anything more about it?
The U.S. releases satellite images it says shows the Russian military has fired across its border with Ukraine.
updated 11:40 AM EDT, Sun July 20, 2014
Some contend that larger weapons have come into Ukraine from Russia.
updated 4:37 PM EDT, Fri August 1, 2014
Information about Ukraine, the second-largest European country in area after Russia.
updated 1:25 PM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Ukraine's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin on securing the MH17 crash site and negotiating with the separatists.
Learn more about the victims, ongoing investigation and the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
updated 5:25 AM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
The downing Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 put the pro-Russia rebels operating in Ukraine's eastern region center stage.
ADVERTISEMENT