Ukrainian Prosecutor General proposes to seize Russian assets

Interfax Ukraine reports that the Prosecutor General of Ukraine Yuriy Lutsenko intends to send letters to the President of Ukraine and National Security and Defense Council with a proposal to introduce sanctions against certain legal entities and individuals of the Russian Federation for armed aggression against the Ukrainian Navy and Armed Forces.

“Today I will send (I am a member of the National Security and Defense Council (NSDC)) a letter to the president and secretary of the NSDC with a proposal given the armed aggression of Russia against Ukrainian ships. I consider it necessary for the NSDC to consider this issue of imposing personal and individualized economic and other restrictions to Russian individuals and legal entities, in part freezing assets on the territory of Ukraine,” said Lutsenko on Monday evening.

According to the Prosecutor General, this freezing of assets should continue till the de-occupation of Ukrainian territories.

On the morning of November 25, Ukraine informed the Russian port of its intention to transfer three ships through the Kerch Strait, as required by the Agreement on the joint use of the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait. However, at around 8:00 a.m., Russian ships carried out acts of provocation against the Ukrainian vessels, even ramming into the Yany Kapu tugboat.

Russia later accused the Ukrainian ships of illegally entering its territorial waters, claiming that they were “maneuvering dangerously” and “not complying with the legitimate demands of the Russian authorities”. Russia also physically blocked the Kerch Strait with a transport ship. The Ukrainian ships decided to return to Odessa, but they were chased and subsequently attacked by the Russian military. The Berdiansk and Nikopol boats were hit, and two crew members were wounded. All three of the ships were seized by Russia.

On November 28, the Kremlin-controlled court of Simferopol placed the Ukrainian sailors under 2 months of arrest – until January 25, 2019.

  Ukraine, Russia, Lutsenko, Ukrainian Prosecutor General's Office, Kerch Strait