Ukraine imposes sanctions on Russian President Vladimir Putin, top officials

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelenskiy addresses the 76th Session of the U.N. General Assembly in New York City, U.S.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy has signed a decree imposing sanctions, including asset freezes and travel bans, on Russian President Vladimir Putin and dozens of other top Russian officials, his website said on Thursday.

The sanctioned officials included Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, veteran Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The sanctions, imposed in the fourth month of Russia’s February 24 invasion, appeared unlikely to have much practical impact beyond the symbolic.

In the early phases of the war, Zelenskiy had been pushing for a meeting with Putin, an idea downplayed by the Kremlin which said there was still much preparatory peace negotiating to be done by their respective delegations.

The peace talks are now frozen and Ukraine is lobbying the European Union to impose a seventh sanctions package on Russia.

“Given that Russia seems to aim to fight in Ukraine to the last Russian, sanctions pressure, of course, needs to be increased,” Ukraine’s foreign minister Dmytro Kuleba said on Wednesday.

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