The EU is looking to add two of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s daughters to its sanctions blacklist over Moscow’s war on Ukraine, according to a list seen by AFP Wednesday and confirmed by several diplomats.
The move, under discussion by EU diplomats, is part of a wave of fresh measures being planned after Ukrainian and Western leaders accused the Kremlin’s forces of civilian massacres near Kyiv.
The United States on Wednesday announced it was sanctioning the two daughters, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina (or Ekaterina) Tikhonova, both in their mid-30s.
Their mother is the Russian leader’s ex-wife Lyudmila, whose divorce from Putin was announced in 2013.
The Kremlin has kept details of Putin’s daughters’ lives a closely guarded secret.
Diplomats told AFP that EU member states hoped to sign off on the latest EU package of sanctions later this week.
According to the European Commission list of proposed individuals and entities to sanction, Vorontsova was included because she was co-owner of Nomenko, a company “involved in Russia’s largest private investment project in healthcare”. She was thus deemed to benefit from the Russian government and was involved in a sector providing it revenue.
She is reputedly married to a Dutch businessman, media have reported.
The commission list had her sister Tikhonova included because “she currently heads the Innopraktika development initiative, funded by key Russian companies whose directors are members of the inner circle of oligarchs close to President Putin”. She was also therefore seen to benefit from the Kremlin and be involved in providing it revenue.
The draft commission list contained a total of 217 individuals and 18 entities.
Other notable entries were: Herman Gref, the head of Russia’s biggest listed bank, Sberbank; oligarch Oleg Deripaska who owns arms factories; defence ministry spokesman Igor Konashenkov; more members of the ultra-wealthy Rotenberg family close to Putin; and members of the administrations running separatist Russian-backed enclaves in eastern Ukraine.
The European Union has already imposed an asset freeze on Putin over the invasion of Ukraine as it tries to ratchet up pressure on the Russian president and his inner circle over the invasion of Ukraine.
The EU’s latest package of sanctions also envisions a ban on Russian coal exports and blocking Russian ships from entering European ports.