After both the European Union and the United States threatened sanctions against Russia for its involvement in Ukraine, President Putin said he would seize assets from US and Europeans companies in Russia if they followed through on the sanctions. While some have criticized the idea of sanctions saying it will do nothing to quell tensions, others believed it may have been a viable way to cut off economic power to Russia. However, Putin’s comment now puts new economic burdens on the situation.
Western powers increased pressure on Russia on Wednesday to talk to the new government in Kiev in a bid to ease tensions over Russia’s military intervention in Ukraine’s Crimea region.
Russia has been warned that possible sanctions will be on the agenda when European Union leaders meet Thursday in Brussels, Belgium, if no progress is made in ending the high-stakes showdown.
But such measures may not only hurt Russia. In a tit-for-tat move, Russian lawmakers are drafting a law that would allow Russia to confiscate assets belonging to U.S. and European companies if sanctions are slapped on Moscow, Russian state media reported.
The diplomatic maneuvers come as world leaders meet in Paris for talks that were intended to focus on Lebanon. Instead, Ukraine will likely dominate the agenda.
Russian forces remain in effective control of Crimea, a Black Sea peninsula where Russia has a large naval base, in a tense standoff with Ukrainian forces loyal to the new interim government in Kiev.