Ukrainian Sanctions and Sanctions Divide in Customs Union

The Ukrainian parliament has approved a sanctions bill that would permit its government to impose sanctions against foreign individuals and companies.  Although the bill does not target Russia specifically, it follows statements from Ukrainian Prime Minister Yatsenyuk that the bill would open the way for sanctions against as many as 65 Russian companies (most of which are state-owned) and could also impede the transit of Russian oil and gas to EU countries via Ukraine.  (There is reportedly a good deal of push-back from Europe and Gazprom on this latter provision.)  At this writing, the Russian companies and individuals implicated have not been identified publicly.

Moreover, Belarus and Kazakhstan, the only member countries of Russia’s “Customs Union” (designed to compete with the EU) have decided not to support Russia’s ban on food imports from countries that have imposed sanctions on Moscow, undermining the credibility of this new multilateral economic organization.