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New EU Sanctions against Russia over Crimea Annexation | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium, October 28, 2015. REUTERS/Francois Lenoir

The EU blacklisted on Friday three more Russian-linked people including the deputy energy minister and three companies involved in diverting gas turbines sold by German firm Siemens to Crimea.

According to AFP, under the 28-nation European Union’s strict policy of not recognizing Crimea’s March 2014 annexation from Ukraine, the three individuals will be hit with an asset freeze and a travel ban.

The measures come despite the fact that the EU just days ago bitterly criticized the United States over fresh sanctions targeting Russia for election meddling, on the grounds that it could harm European energy firms.

“The EU has added three Russian nationals and three companies involved in the transfer of gas turbines to Crimea to the list of persons subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence,” the EU statement said.

There was no immediate reaction from the Kremlin.

But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was “grateful” to the EU, calling the sanctions a “powerful message to the aggressor about unwavering unity and solidarity among the capitals of the European Union.”

“Attempts to bypass the sanctions by cynical schemes will lead only to greater price for the aggression. And so be it until the full restoration of sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine, including Crimea!” he wrote on Facebook.

The EU said 153 people and 40 companies had now been targeted by individual sanctions against Russia.

Siemens said last month it was scaling back its Russian operations after finding out that the four turbines had been “illegally” modified and moved to Crimea, which Russia annexed in March 2014.