Kremlin says sanctions on Putin would be ‘destructive’

The Kremlin said on Wednesday that imposing personal sanctions on President Vladimir Putin would have no effect and would be counterproductive in efforts to lower tensions over Ukraine.

“Politically, it’s not painful, it’s destructive,” Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters, after US President Joe Biden threatened personal measures against the Russian leader over the crisis.

“US congressmen and senators who are not quite familiar with this topic are speaking about freezing the assets of representatives of Russia’s leadership,” Peskov said.

He said they lacked “expert knowledge” because high-ranking Russian officials are barred from holding assets abroad.

Tensions have soared over Ukraine after the West accused the Kremlin of deploying more than 100,000 troops to the Ukrainian border with plans to invade.

Moscow blames the West for the tensions and has put forward a list of demands, including a guarantee that Ukraine never join NATO and that NATO forces already in the former Soviet bloc pull back.

Senior representatives of Germany, Russia, France and Ukraine were due Wednesday to hold talks on Ukraine in Paris in the four-way “Normandy” format.

“I hope that a good, open conversation will take place with the maximum possible result,” Peskov said of the talks.

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Agence France Presse
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