Europe’s new sanctions against Russia over its alleged role in the Ukraine crisis have come into force. That is despite a week-old ceasefire deal which appears fragile but is largely holding.
The measures affect ordinary Russians.
“Imposing sanctions on other countries is very good,” said one man. “We need to develop industries of our own here.”
“What really worries me is not the measures imposed from Europe, but the ones that were announced in return from our side, because they affect individual people,” said another resident.
The new sanctions target five state banks and curb EU business deals with energy and defence firms.
President Putin said the new sanctions look “strange” given his support for peace efforts in embattled eastern Ukraine.
“Using these mechanisms (sanctions) seems somewhat strange, even against the whole strange background,” mused Purtin.
“I don’t even understand what these new sanctions are related to. Maybe somebody doesn’t like that we have started to follow a peace process,” he continued.
Russia’s foreign ministry said it would hit back quickly against what it criticised as another “hostile step.”
As winter approaches, many in the EU are anxious about what revenge Russia, the bloc’s biggest energy supplier, may take.