Japan approves additional sanctions on 17 Russian citizens

Tokyo, Mar 15 (EFE).- The Japanese foreign ministry on Tuesday froze the assets of 17 more Russian citizens, mainly parliamentarians, in an additional round of sanctions on Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

At a press conference on Tuesday after the conclusion of a government meeting where the measures were approved, Japanese chief cabinet secretary Hirokazu Matsuno stressed the need for stronger sanctions to ensure an end to the invasion as soon as possible.

Matsuno added that Japan will continue to collaborate with the international community on sanctions against Russia and said that some measures have been taken in coordination with the other Group of Seven countries.

Among the 17 Russian citizens targeted by the latest sanctions are 11 members of the State Duma — the lower house of the Russian parliament — and tycoon Viktor Vekselberg, president of the Russian energy conglomerate Renova, as well as five family members of billionaire Yuri Kovalchuk, the largest shareholder of Rossiya Bank and known as “Putin’s banker.”

Kovalchuk himself was included in earlier sanctions imposed by the Japanese authorities, taking the total number of Russian citizens whose assets they have frozen to 61.

A week ago, Tokyo announced additional sanctions on Russia and Belarus, including freezing the assets of 20 senior Russian officials and oligarchs, as well as 12 Belarusians, and banning the export of oil refining machinery.

Japan has also imposed sanctions on other individuals, including Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko.

On Monday, the Japanese government also ordered domestic cryptocurrency exchanges to halt transactions involving individuals or entities subject to sanctions against Russia and Belarus.

Japan, like other G7 countries and the EU, has applied successive rounds of sanctions against Russia since its attack on Ukraine.

These include the freezing of assets of Russian companies and banks, the exclusion of the latter from the Swift international payment system and a ban on the export of semiconductors and other goods that could be used in the military equipment industry. EFE


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