‘Knew what’s coming’ Zelensky advisor warns oligarchs prepared to bypass West sanction

Ukraine: Oligarch sanctions 'overdue' says Rodnyansky

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Mr Rodnyansky insisted the West’s response to Russian hostility should have been set out much earlier to push oligarchs into pressuring Vladimir Putin for change. The advisor to Volodymyr Zelensky said top earners in Russia “knew what’s coming” and have been avoiding the sanctions by removing their wealth from Western banks for years. Asked whether Western countries had been too late with their reaction, Mr Rodnyansky told LBC: “Actually, I think so.

“I’ve been saying this sort of individual-targeted sanctions have been way long overdue.

“They should have been introduced years ago after the annexation of Crimea because they’re especially effective in putting pressure on the Russian regime, or on any regime of that sort, over years in the medium run, giving them an incentive to change, putting pressure can change the regime.

“That doesn’t mean the sanctions are useless now, they should still be introduced and on a much larger scale, you shouldn’t be just targeting the people at the very top.”

He continued: “The top oligarchs, they know what’s coming, they’ve been preparing. 

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“Many of them don’t even have accounts or credit cards in the West.

“But people in their vicinity, the shadow oligarchs, they are the ones who are holding their true wealth and they should also be targeted.”

The European Union and the United States are both considering further sanctions on oligarchs and Russian organisations as Moscow continues to refuse standing down in Ukraine.

Two sources familiar with the situation said US President Joe Biden and his team were developing plans to impose sanctions on members of the Russian Duma.

Russia: Fifth round of sanctions to come predicts expert

The sanctions are expected to be announced on Thursday.

The Wall Street Journal said 300 members of the Duma could face sanctions.

A White House spokesperson said “no final decisions have been made about who we will sanction and how many we will sanction.”

They added: “We will have additional sanctions measures to announce that will be rolled out in conjunction with our allies on Thursday when the president has the opportunity to speak with them.”

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White House national security adviser Jake Sullivan told reporters on Tuesday that Biden on Thursday will attend an emergency NATO summit, meet with G7 leaders and address the 27 leaders of the European Union at a session of the European Council.

President  Zelenskiy thanked Japan for leading the way among Asian countries in condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and introducing sanctions as he addressed the Japanese Parliament on Wednesday.

He said: “Responsible states unite to protect peace. I am grateful to your state for its principled position at such a historical moment, for real assistance to Ukraine.

“You were the first in Asia who really began to put pressure on Russia to restore peace, who supported sanctions against Russia, and I urge you to keep doing this.”

Citing no evidence, the Ukrainian President claimed Moscow were preparing new attacks from the so-called exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear power station.

The defunct nuclear power station has been under Russia control since shortly after the invasion began on February 24.

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