Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko has expanded a list of sanctions against Russian companies and individuals, including two Estonian journalists, who work in the local Russian-language media, Marianna Tarassenko and Andrei Babin.
Ukrainian blacklist includes 400 people and 90 companies – all of whom are held responsible by Kyiv for “helping Kremlin to initiate the separatist movement in eastern Ukraine as well as Russia’s annexation of Crimea.”
Poroshenko said that Ukraine co-ordinated the list with its partners from the European Union and the United States.
Sanctions mean that all the Ukrainian assets of the individuals have been frozen and they are banned to travel to Ukraine.
Both Estonian journalists work for the Russian-language edition of Postimees – Tarassenko is deputy editor and Babin one of its contributors.
“I love Ukraine and I consider myself as one of the most tolerant people in the world," Babin told rus.err.ee. "If I’m not mistaken, last year I wrote an article in relation to events in Ukraine, in which I did criticize the Ukrainian authorities. But criticism is part of our job as journalists,” Babin said, adding that he last visited Ukraine in 2004, where he has relatives in Donetsk.
Tarassenko was also taken by surprise of finding her name in the Ukrainian blacklist. “I support the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, including Ukraine. Therefore I find it strange that my name is in the list,” said Tarassenko, who last visited Ukraine when it was still occupied by the Soviet Union.
The blacklist says that the named individuals “pose a real or potential threat to the security, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine.”
Editor: S. Tambur