EU sanctions 15 politicians and military leaders over Ukraine
BRUSSELS: The European Union imposed asset freezes and travel bans on 15 Russians and Ukrainians, including a Russian deputy prime minister, Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, over Moscow's action in Ukraine, but steered clear of any sanctions on business leaders.
The latest list included Ludmila Ivanovna Shvetsova, a deputy chairman of the State Duma, the lower house of Russia's parliament, Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, chief of staff of Russia's armed forces, as well as separatist leaders in Ukraine.
But it did not include the heads of Russian energy giants such as Rosneft's Igor Sechin, who had been included on a new U.S. sanctions list on Monday.
The decision brings to 48 the number of people that the EU has put under sanctions for actions it says have undermined Ukraine's territorial integrity.
Russia annexed the Crimea region after Ukraine's pro-Moscow president was ousted in February by protesters demanding closer links with Europe. Kiev and the West accuse Russia of stirring up a separatist campaign in the east, a charge Moscow denies.
The EU decision coincided with an earlier White House announcement that the United States was imposing sanctions on seven Russians and 17 companies linked to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The United States has been much more aggressive in the penalties it has imposed on Russia than has the European Union, which depends heavily on Russia for energy and has close trading links.
The EU has so far only put sanctions on individuals, not companies. The European Commission is drawing up a list of tougher economic sanctions, possibly affecting trade or the energy or finance sectors, that could be imposed on Russia.