EU puts 19 more individuals on its Ukraine sanctions list
BRUSSELS (AP) The European Union has added 19 more individuals, including a Russian deputy minister of defense, on its sanctions list for their actions linked to the fighting in eastern Ukraine, in a move strongly criticized by Moscow.
The EU published the list, which also included nine entities, on Monday, one week after the EU foreign ministers decided on the issue. There was a week's lapse in the publishing of the list because of the negotiations which led to an agreement between Ukraine and Russia last Thursday.
The additions bring the total number of individuals hit with a travel ban and asset freeze to 151 while 37 entities are now also hit with restrictive measures.
The Russian foreign ministry reacted angrily, calling it "clumsy" in the context of last week's cease-fire deal. The ministry dismissed the new EU sanctions as "running against common sense" and harming chances "to resolve an internal Ukrainian conflict."
The latest batch includes Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, an outspoken critic of Ukraine, two more high-level officials linked to the military, and two state Duma officials who backed the annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula last year.
Among the officials from the Duma, Russia's lower house of parliament, was Iosif Kobzon, who has been supportive of the separatists, and is also well known as a crooner.
The entities targeted consist of eight armed separatist groups and one Russian movement backing the separatists in eastern Ukraine.
The EU, at the same time, continued to prepare work on a possible extension of economic sanctions. "These measures can be adjusted in a positive or negative way," depending on how the implementation of the peace agreement progresses, said EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic.
A cease-fire in eastern Ukraine went into effect Sunday but on Monday the two sides were accusing each other of violations.