EU adds more Russians to Crimea sanctions blacklist

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The European Union has added several people, including some recently elected to Russia’s parliament, to its sanctions blacklist for their role in supporting Moscow’s seizure of Crimea from Ukraine, officials said Tuesday.

“The Council (of EU member states) adopted new listings under the restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence,” Slovak Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said.

Kazimir, whose country holds the current six-month rotating EU presidency, was replying to a reporter’s question about officials in Crimea being hit with asset freezes and travel bans.

The minister said he could not give any further information, with full details due to be published on Wednesday.

EU diplomatic sources said six Crimea deputies elected to Russia’s Duma had been added to two already on the blacklist.

The 28-nation EU refuses to recognise Moscow’s 2014 annexation of Crimea and insisted Russian parliamentary elections held there in September were illegal.

In June, it rolled over for another year asset ban and travel freeze sanctions against individuals and companies said to have aided Russia’s takeover of the Black Sea peninsula.

In September, the EU extended by six months similar sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals for aiding and abetting pro-Moscow rebels in eastern Ukraine.

In July, the bloc extended much more damaging economic sanctions against Russia for another six months, citing a lack of progress in resolving the Ukraine conflict.

EU leaders are due to review these economic sanctions at a summit in December amid sharp differences over how effective they are.