Ukraine approves bill to impose sanctions on Russia
Kiev, Aug 14 (IANS) The Ukrainian parliament Thursday approved a bill that provides legal instruments for imposing sanctions on Russian companies and individuals over their alleged support for insurgents in the east of the country.
The bill, which was backed by 242 of the 318 lawmakers present in parliament, includes a provision that Kiev may halt natural gas transit from Russia through Ukrainian territory, Xinhua reported.
The sanctions will also target Russia’s defence, financial and transport sectors, but will not touch media and IT areas, as the government initially demanded.
Last week, Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatsenyuk said his country might introduce sanctions against 172 Russian individuals and 65 companies that allegedly sponsor independence-seeking insurgents in eastern Ukraine and declare support for Crimea’s affiliation with Russia.
After being adopted by parliament, the sanction plan needs the approval of the National Security and Defence Council to come into force.
Kiev has repeatedly blamed Moscow for inciting unrest in eastern Ukraine, where rebels are demanding independence. Russia, however, has denied the charges, saying the accusations are groundless.