Latest EU Sanctions Draft Includes Putin's Rumored Girlfriend

A draft proposal for a sixth round of Russian sanctions proposed by the European Union includes Alina Kabaeva, who has previously been romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, according to CNN - so who knows. The Guardian and Bloomberg also received the leaked draft, so perhaps there's some merit to the news.

Vladimir Putin with Alina Kabaeva in 2004.
Vladimir Putin with Alina Kabaeva in 2004. Photograph: ITAR-TASS News Agency/Alamy

Kabaeva, born in 1983, was rumored to be Putin's girlfriend more than a decade ago while she was an Olympic gymnast. Putin has denied any relationship.

Her rumored addition to the latest round of EU sanctions follows an April report in the Wall Street Journal which said that US officials had been debating whether to include Kabaeva over concerns that it would escalate tensions by making the proxy war personal.

"Discussions are going on. It's not a piece of cake, but we have to wait and see," a diplomatic source told CNN, which notes that the EU hasn't officially signed off on the draft proposal.

Another individual reportedly on the draft is Patriarch Kirill, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, according to two sources who have seen the documents.

Russian Patriarch Kirill celebrates a Christmas service at the Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow.
Russian Patriarch Kirill celebrates a Christmas service at the Christ the Savior cathedral in Moscow. Photograph: Kirill Kudryavtsev/AFP/Getty Images

The Guardian reports that "Kabaeva and Kirill are two of dozens of people who would face an EU travel ban and asset freeze under new listings being discussed by member states, joining more than 1,000 powerful Russians already on the sanctions list. The new names still have to be approved by the EU’s 27 member states."

According to Bloomberg the document describes Kabaeva as “closely associated with President Vladimir Putin”. Kabayeva won gold in the 2004 Olympics for rhythmic gymnastics and was also a flag-bearer at the Winter Olympics in Sochi in 2014. She was an MP for six years representing Putin’s United Russia party and went on to run a major pro-Kremlin media group, despite an apparent lack of experience in media management.

In 2008 a Moscow newspaper alleged that Putin had secretly divorced his wife Lyudmila and was planning to wed the gymnast. The Kremlin vehemently denied the story and the newspaper closed soon after. The Putins announced their separation in 2013, after 30 years of marriage. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that the US administration had held off sanctioning Kabaeva because of concerns Putin would view it as a personal attack. The White House strongly denied the report, insisting no one was safe from sanctions. The US and EU have already sanctioned Putin’s adult children, Maria Vorontsova and Katerina Tikhonova. -The Guardian

Meanwhile, EU officials will also reportedly target the immediate family of Putin's press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, who's already been sanctioned. His wife, Tatiana Navka, would be added to the list due to her marriage, but also because she co-owns property in Crimea which was annexed by Russia in 2014.

Also on the draft list is Marina Mordashova, the wife of Russia's richest man, Alexi Mordashov, as well as the head of Russia’s national defence management centre, Mikhail Mizintsev, the military commander said to be responsible for the siege of Mariupol, according to the Guardian. Several pro-Russia Ukrainian officials are also on the list.

(Article by Tyler Durden republished from Zerohedge.com)

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