EU extends sanctions on individuals over Ukraine to September

EU extends sanctions on individuals over Ukraine to September

BRUSSELS – Agence France-Presse
EU extends sanctions on individuals over Ukraine to September

Russian President Vladimir Putin makes statements after talks with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko in Minsk, Belarus, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2016. AP Photo

The European Union on March 10 extended by six months until September sanctions against Russian and Ukrainian individuals over the conflict in Ukraine, it said in a statement.

The blacklist of travel bans and asset freezes against nearly 150 people is in addition to sweeping economic sanctions against Russia’s defense, financial and energy sectors that have infuriated Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Member states “extended by six months EU restrictive measures against 146 people and 37 companies in view of the continuing undermining or threatening of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the statement said.

“Three deceased people were removed from the list of targets subject to the restrictive measures.”

The sanctions are next up for renewal on Sept. 15, it added.

EU ambassadors decided to extend the sanctions at a meeting on March 9 and the decision was formally approved by interior ministers of the 28-nation bloc at a meeting in Brussels on March 8.

A full list of names will be published by the EU on March 12.

The last list approved in September 2015 included Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, targeted for backing Russia’s annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea in March 2014.

It also included Arkady Bakhin and Anatoli Antonov, the defense and deputy defense ministers.

Tycoon Arkady Rotenberg was meanwhile described as a “long-term acquaintance of President Putin and his former judo sparring partner” who has benefited from his close ties with the Kremlin strongman.

The European Union has persisted with the sanctions despite pressure from Russia and divisions within the bloc, saying that the terms of the Minsk ceasefire agreement to end the two-year-old Ukraine conflict have not been met.