Thursday, September 17, 2015

Experts of Ukrainian sanctions: half-hearted insulation – BBC Russian

Image copyright RIA Novosti
Image caption President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko published new sanctions lists on Wednesday evening

President of Ukraine Petr Poroshenko on Wednesday night approved the list of individuals and companies, which are sanctioned by Ukraine.

In contrast, by previous decisions of the Ukrainian authorities, limited the entry of certain foreign, mainly Russian citizens in the new “black spicke” – nearly 400 individuals and 100 entities.

The sanctions include the freezing of assets, temporary restrictions on use of their property, preventing the export of capital from Ukraine, as well as visa restrictions.

BBC Russian Service spoke with experts about what the consequences may lead sanctions against major Russian companies, what are the political target new lists, and what items they raise questions.

Sergei Sumlёnny, head of the Kiev Office of the Heinrich Boell Foundation

– The first thing that catches your eye – is the presence in the list of a large number of airlines. Not very clear wording of the sanctions regulation: banned only transit through the airspace of Ukraine or banned flights that terminate directly in Ukraine.

If the latter, that is, if “Aeroflot”, “Transaero” and other airlines banned from flying Ukraine, then of course it will have a very serious impact on passenger traffic between Russia and Ukraine, because in fact there will be only Ukraine International Airlines, which will fly on the route “Moscow-Kiev”.

Not very clear sanctions Companies that are in the Crimea. Since the Crimea – the territory of Ukraine is not very clear how these companies were on the sanctions list, and how they will be applied sanctions.

It is also quite surprising, if we compare the Ukrainian list with the list of European, it is not very clear why are not included in the list of major Russian banks. If we look at the European list, then there is not just airlines, but there are Russian banks such as Sberbank, VTB, Vnesheconombank. The Ukrainian listed on the contrary – there are major Russian airlines, but there are no large Russian banks that work, including in Ukraine.

There are a lot of Russian banks, but mostly small banks that in Ukraine or are not present or are present is very limited.

Image copyright RIA Novosti
Image caption Ukraine will be difficult to find a replacement for the leading Russian airlines, experts say

In Europe, most probably, a lot of attention will be attracted to the ingress in the list of employees BBC BBC and other citizens of the European Union. This will undoubtedly be the main subject to be discussed in European newspapers and in the European political circles. And I’m afraid that the Ukrainian sanctions will be reduced in the public and political their discussion to why employees Bi-bi-si are on the list.

Andrei Movchan, the head of the economic program of the Carnegie Moscow Center

“It is quite understand the logic of these sanctions. Ukraine is trying to emphasize that the Crimea – is illegally annexed territories, and therefore all who de facto recognize the Crimea with Russia, are the enemies of Ukraine, and therefore should be subject to certain ostracism .

At the same time the sanctions were very strange people, such as correspondent Bi-bi-si (It was later revealed that the President Poroshenko ordered the lifting of sanctions against European journalists – Bi-bi-si) . If the Ukrainian leadership to imagine how the independent international press, would understand that the reporter can not take no position because it has only one position: to cover the events. He just did not have the right position to hold, so the sanctions fall within – this is nonsense.

As for the airlines: well that airlines do fly to the Crimea. On formal grounds they got there. How will this affect passenger traffic and on traffic between Ukraine and Russia? Ukraine, in general, there is nothing to replace “Aeroflot” and “Transaero”. Ukraine has no such powerful airlines, which could take their place, and Russia may impose retaliatory sanctions against airlines, which is not very logical, but it is very similar to the actions of our leadership. In this situation, aviapotok fall.

In general, Ukraine is, of course, set a course for the isolation of Russia. Ukraine’s policy in this sense we can understand with the unpredictable and aggressive neighbor case it is better I do not have, than to have.

Image copyright RIA Novosti
Image caption The inclusion in the lists of separatists Donbass experts call self-evident

In this case, the isolation is very half-hearted. We have a large freight turnover of about 5 million Ukrainians live and work in Russia, a huge percentage of the population. In Ukraine, nearly a third of the population speaks Russian as a mother and as a first language. All this is very sad, because it will take several decades, relations are settled and isolation will remain because the economic isolation so quickly is not canceled.

A number of major Russian banks present in Ukraine, and their submission to the sanctions list could cause and panic among depositors, and problems in the interbank Ukrainian market, and here it is just a reasonable solution. In the end, integrity is good when it is not very harmful to you.

I would say that this is a political decision, not economic. Economic consequences are likely, no one do not count.

Please note that sanctions very carefully written: the company came under the authorization may be subject to certain restrictions. It’s the political and demonstrative measure. Then it will be easier to take with respect to these companies any sanctions. What – is unclear. I think that companies the size of “Aeroflot” will negotiate directly about something to negotiate.

Vladimir Fesenko, the Ukrainian political scientist, head of the Center for Applied Political Studies “Penta”

In Russia, they will be reflected, of course, not as European sanctions and sanctions of the West – because it also is not about some sort of economic sanctions. Sanctions personal, as well as against some Russian companies.

These sanctions are not so much an instrument of pressure on Russia, as such, I would say, a moral and symbolic tool. Ever since last year, public opinion is constantly asks the question: why Ukraine after the West does not impose its sanctions?

However, in the last year have been sanctions, which concerned the termination of cooperation in the military-technical sphere, for obvious reasons . But sanctions similar to Western countries for a long time not introduced. And it has been the subject of much criticism – not because these sanctions will cause any great damage to Russia, as it is paradoxical, but the reduction of bilateral trade between Ukraine and Russia, it occurs primarily at the initiative of the Russian and not as a result of sanctions. Although Russia that as it introduced its limitations, is the fact of the war, the fact that such a crisis of confrontation in Ukraine and Russia, it led to a drop in bilateral trade.

So we are well aware, these sanctions are not an instrument of pressure on Russia . This Europe can push through sanctions, but not us. Yes, it’s more the fact of such a critical attitude to the country the aggressor and to those people who are involved in this aggression by specific individuals to the campaign, which in one way or another involved in the violation of the sovereignty of Ukraine and the events in the Crimea, and on eastern Ukraine.


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