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Vladimir Putin: Senior Kremlin officials have dismissed the sanctions move as an unfair ploy to put pressure on Russia

Vladimir Putin, the Russian prime minister, could be personally targeted by EU sanctions being drawn up to punish the Kremlin for the controversial conviction of Mikhail Khodorkovsky.

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By Andrew Osborn, Moscow 3:21PM GMT 17 Jan 2011

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The sanctions, which are being considered by the European Parliament, would ban officials involved with the case from entering the EU and freeze any bank accounts they have inside the 27-nation bloc.

At the end of last year, Mr Khodorkovsky, once Russia’s richest man, was sentenced to a further six years in jail on top of an existing eight-year prison term that he has been serving out since 2003 on fraud charges many in the West believe are politically-motivated.

Russian magazine The New Times reported on Monday that the list of officials being drawn up by the European Parliament in retaliation was likely to include Mr Putin, Igor Sechin, a deputy prime minister, as well as state investigators, prosecutors and judges.

The sanctions are being pushed by Kristiina Ojuland, an Estonian MEP.

“Europe will stop at nothing for human rights to be observed in Russia,” she told the magazine.

Source: telegraph.co.uk