KIEV, Nov 1 - President Petro Poroshenko on Thursday compared being placed on a Russian sanctions list to receiving an award, adding that Moscow should withdraw its troops and weapons from Ukrainian territory instead of saber-rattling, Reuters reported.
Moscow has imposed financial sanctions on Ukraine's political elite, freezing the Russian assets of hundreds of politicians and officials along with dozens of businesses owned by Ukrainian businessmen.
"In Ukraine, being on this list is a kind of state award, at least that's how it is perceived," Poroshenko told reporters at a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. "Those who did not make it to the list are very offended."
Neither Poroshenko nor his closest ally and business partner, Ihor Kononenko, were placed on the list.
Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said last week that despite strained relations with Ukraine, Russia "remains the largest trade partner" of Ukraine, trying to stress the possible economic impact of the sanctions.
Russia has included largest Ukrainian businessmen and their businesses in the list of persons against whom special economic measures are imposed by the country.
The list includes the following businessmen: the largest shareholder of Ferrexpo Ukrainian businessman Kostiantyn Zhevaho, the ultimate owner of Interpipe Limited Victor Pinchuk, Oleksandr Yaroslavsky (DCH group of companies), Konstantin Grigorishin (Energy Standard Group), Andriy Verevsky (Kernel) and Yuriy Kosiuk (MHP).
The list also have Vitaliy Antonov (OKKO), Oleksiy Vadatursky (Nibulon), Oleksandr Hereha (Epicenter and Nova Linia), Filia Zhebrovska (Farmak), Hlib Zahoriy (Darnitsa), Stepan Ivakhiv (WOG), Volodymyr Kostelman (Fozzy Food), Roman Chihir (Fozzy Group), Oleh Sotnikov (Fozzy Group), Leonid Yurushev (Unibudinvest), Roman Matsola (First Private Brewery), and Pavlo Fuks (Ukrrosleasing).
The following managers of large Ukrainian companies were also placed to the list: CEO of Metinvest Yuriy Ryzhenkov, CEO of Smart Holding Oleksiy Pertin, CEO of StarLightMedia Volodymyr Borodiansky, CEO of SCM Oleh Popov and CEO of 112 Ukraine TV Yehor Benkendorf.
President Vladimir Putin signed a decree setting the stage for "special economic measures" in response to what the document called Ukraine's "unfriendly actions" against Russian citizens and companies.
In the decree signed and posted on the Kremlin website on Oct 22, Putin instructs the government to draft a list of Ukrainian firms and individuals to be targeted for economic sanctions.
The decree also orders the government to outline the sanctions and says it can be canceled if Ukraine lifts all restrictions it has imposed against Russian citizens and companies. (rt/ez)