US, EU slap new sanctions on Russian Federation over Ukraine

A Ukrainian serviceman stands on board a coastguard ship in the Sea of Azov port of Mariupol eastern Ukraine

The last expansion of anti-Russia sanctions by the United States occurred in January 2018, when 21 individuals and 12 entities were added to the sanctions list.

The United States, Canada and the European Union pressed to release the sailors.

The EU's decision takes the number of people blacklisted by the bloc over the crisis in Ukraine to 170, plus 44 entities.

"The measures now apply to a total of 170 persons and 44 entities", the Council of European Union pointed out. Thus, the sanctions were imposed against Head of "Border Unit of Crimean and Sevastopol FSB Rear Admiral Sergey Stankevich, his deputy Andrey Shein, Commander of troops of Southern Military district Alexandr Dvornikov, commanders Alexey Salaev and Andrey Shipitsyn, participating in the seizure of the vessels, commander of anti-submarine warfare ship Suzdalets Sergey Shcherbakov and two heads of the FSB control points Ruslan Romashkin and Alexey Shatokhin".

The US also imposed sanctions on two Ukrainian separatists - Aleksey Naydenko and Vladimir Vysotsky - involved in organising November elections in the breakaway east, which Washington says were a "sham".

European Union sanctions target eight senior Russian security personnel and military officers responsible for detaining three Ukrainian vessels in disputed waters off the coast of Crimea, which Russia illegally annexed in 2014.

As stated by the European Council on 13 December, the EU requests the immediate release of all detained Ukrainian seamen as well as the return of the seized vessels and free passage of all ships through the Kerch Strait.

"We also call on Russian Federation to respect Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders, including its territorial waters".

New companies on the US sanctions list are the following: Yaroslavsky Shipbuilding Plant, Zelenodolsk Shipyard Plant named after A.M. Gorky, AO Kontsern Okeanpribor (Okeanpribor), PAO Zvezda (Zvezda), AO Zavod Fiolent (Fiolent), GUP RK KTB Sudokompozit (Sudokompozit), LLC SK Consol-Stroi LTD, and LLC Novye Proekty.

"In the five years since Russian Federation started its campaign of aggression against Ukraine, we have stood firmly with our Transatlantic partners in opposition to Russia's malign and illegal actions, including its attack near the Kerch Strait".

The billionaire was slapped with sanctions in April past year, which targeted tycoons with close ties to the Kremlin. He claimed his net worth has dropped by $7.5bn because of the measures.

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