Russia Putin

Russia's President Vladimir Putin attends a congress of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia, on Thursday, March 20, 2014. (AP Photo/ Sergei Chirikov, pool) (Sergei Chirikov/Associated Press)

Russian President Vladimir Putin is calling on his country's billionaires to pay taxes in Russia, amid threats of economic sanctions from the U.S. and the European Union.

At a meeting Thursday with Russia's richest men in Moscow, Putin said Russian companies "ought to register on Russian territory and pay taxes in our motherland."

"I know that you are also interested in this. That is why we have set the task of de-offshorization in this part of the economy."

Russia has come under increasing fire from the West over its actions in Crimea, and Putin himself has been leading the effort to annex Crimea.

On Monday, Canada joined the U.S. and the European Union in announcing sanctions against a limited number of individuals they say were involved in the unlawful referendum in Crimea over joining Russia. Most of those targeted, however, were not businessmen but political figureheads, who mocked the sanctions and said they had no assets abroad that were at risk.

with files from the Associated Press