Japan sanctions Putin

Tokyo vows to ‘freeze assets’ of top Russian officials, including President Vladimir Putin

Japan has slapped Russia with additional sanctions for its offensive in Ukraine, targeting three state banks and six individuals, including President Putin, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu.

“We’ve agreed on the need to take powerful sanctions against Russia,” Prime Minister Fumio Kishida declared on Tuesday.

Japan’s asset freeze will also target Russia’s central bank, as well as the state-owned Vnesheconombank and Promsvyazbank. In addition, Tokyo will ban exports to 49 Russian companies and entities.

Japan joins the US, EU and other Western allies in introducing embargoes against Moscow for what they describe as “an invasion of Ukraine.” The measures mostly focus on cutting off certain Russian banks from global financial transactions and freezing assets abroad.

Putin announced that Russia would launch a special military operation in Ukraine last Thursday, calling for the complete “demilitarization” and “denazification” of the country, and made a pledge to prosecute those who were involved in “numerous bloody crimes against civilians.”

Kiev, however, claims the attack was “unprovoked,” insisting it has had np plans to retake the breakaway regions of Donetsk and Lugansk by force. They split from Ukraine back in 2014 following the Maidan coup, which ousted the democratically-elected government in Kiev, and endured years of low-intensity warfare that left thousands of people dead.

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