The international working group on sanctions against Russia chaired by Head of the Office of the President of Ukraine Andriy Yermak and Director of the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI), Former US National Security Adviser, Ambassador Michael McFaul held an online meeting with the leadership of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine and representatives of parliamentary factions and groups.
At the beginning of the meeting, Andriy Yermak noted that the work of the group stimulates the development of sanctions policy against the aggressor country - the Russian Federation. In particular, its activities influenced the appearance of resolutions calling for Russia to be recognized as a state sponsor of terrorism in the Senate, and then in the House of Representatives of the US Congress.
"Our group, I believe, has become a really basic platform for the formation and analysis of sanctions policy. Today, all partners use our recommendations," he emphasized.
The Head of the Office of the President said that Russian assets worth more than 23 billion US dollars have been frozen abroad and work continues on their transfer to Ukraine, for which a number of partners have made appropriate changes to their legislation.
"The Russian banking system is being cut off from the world. Banning the export of a long list of technologies and products to Russia relegates it to the past. Personal sanctions are being introduced against top officials of the aggressor country and people close to them," Andriy Yermak said.
He added that the goal of the expert group is to introduce sanctions against all members of the United Russia party. In addition, work continues on the Book of Torturers, which will contain information about every Russian war criminal involved in atrocities on the territory of Ukraine.
According to him, the embargo on Russian gold, which is Russia's second most profitable export product, will deprive it of multibillion-dollar revenues. In the framework of the oil embargo, some countries completely gave up Russian oil, and the European Union undertook to give up seaborne oil. Preparations for the introduction of a gas embargo are ongoing.
In addition, the Head of the President's Office said that the Yermak-McFaul International Group offered the countries of the sanctions coalition to introduce a requirement for mandatory disclosure of information regarding any business contacts with Russian citizens, joint ownership of corporate rights and property. A draft resolution has already been submitted to the US Congress. It is also proposed to strengthen the responsibility - up to criminal - for the evasion of sanctions. This decision is already being considered in the EU.
"Perhaps such initiatives should also be included in Ukrainian legislation, if the Verkhovna Rada decides to endorse them," noted Andriy Yermak.
Chairman of the Verkhovna Rada of Ukraine Ruslan Stefanchuk emphasized that the parliament is ready to coordinate actions to strengthen the sanctions policy against Russia.
Representatives of parliamentary factions and groups expressed their proposals and ideas on ways to strengthen sanctions and increase their effectiveness. In particular, the importance of secondary sanctions against states, individuals or legal entities that contribute to Russia's aggression or help the Russian Federation circumvent restrictions was noted.
Co-chairman of the International Sanctions Group Michael McFaul noted that experts are actively working on the issue of secondary sanctions and are ready to discuss various ideas, in particular with parliamentarians.
"We all have one primary task - to stop Putin's terrible invasion of your country," he emphasized.
Andriy Yermak emphasized that the sanctions group is absolutely open to any kind of cooperation.
"We are also interested in receiving proposals from our parliament regarding new sanctions and those that have already been introduced. The very fact that the war continues shows that the sanctions are not enough, so the group's work is continued non-stop," the Head of the President's Office emphasized.