Alina Kabaeva, a woman romantically linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin, has been included in the sixth proposed package of EU sanctions against Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine, according to two European diplomatic sources.
At this stage names can be taken off or added at member state discretion, an EU Commission source said.
The EU has not officially signed off on the draft proposal but could do so as early as this morning at a meeting of EU ambassadors — currently underway in Brussels.
“Discussions are going on. It’s not a piece of cake, but we have to wait and see,” said one of the diplomatic sources.
Kabaeva was first linked to Putin more than a decade ago, while she was a medal-winning gymnast. Putin has denied a relationship with her.
In April, the Wall Street Journal reported that US officials had been debating whether or not to place sanctions on Kabaeva over concerns that the move might escalate tensions even more because it could be seen as an extreme personal blow to Putin.
The head of the Russian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Kirill, is also among the individuals who are included in the proposed sixth round of EU sanctions, according to two sources who have seen the full documents.