Moscow and Brussels, Reuters—Russia suggested on Tuesday the European Union should be ashamed of itself for “doing Washington’s bidding” by punishing Moscow with sanctions over the crisis in Ukraine.
The European Union on Tuesday released a list of 15 politicians and military leaders that will be subject to asset freezes and travel bans. It had already sanctioned 33 Russians and Ukrainians in protest at Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region in March.
The Foreign Ministry said the EU sanctions imposed on the 15 Russian and pro-Moscow Ukrainian officials would not ease tension in Ukraine, where the government is struggling to rein in pro-Russian separatists in southeastern regions, who it says are backed by Moscow.
“Instead of forcing the Kiev clique to sit at the table with southeastern Ukraine to negotiate the future structure of the country, our partners are doing Washington’s bidding with new unfriendly gestures aimed at Russia,” the Foreign Ministry said.
“If this is how someone in Brussels hopes to stabilize the situation in Ukraine, it is obvious evidence of a complete lack of understanding of the internal political situation . . . and a direct invitation for the local neo-Nazis to continue to conduct lawlessness and reprisals against the peaceful population of the southeast,” it said in a statement. “Are they not ashamed?”
Deputy Foreign Minister Grigory Karasin said separately that US and EU sanctions were “an absolutely counterproductive, trite measure that will force the already critical situation in Ukraine into a dead end,” state-run news agency RIA reported.
Russia and the West accuse one another of failing to take steps to implement an April 17 agreement to ease tension over Ukraine. Russia retaliated against visa bans and asset freezes imposed following its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last month but has not yet announced any steps in response to the new sanctions unveiled by the United States and EU this week.
The 15 new names are as follows:
• Dmitry Kozak, deputy prime minister responsible for overseeing the integration of the annexed Crimea into Russia.
• Oleg Belaventsev, the Russian president’s representative in “the so-called Crimean Federal District,” non-permanent member of the Russian Security Council, responsible for implementing constitutional prerogatives of the Russian president in Crimea.
• Oleg Savelyev, minister for Crimean Affairs responsible for the integration of Crimea into Russia.
• Sergei Menyailo, acting governor of the annexed Ukrainian city of Sevastopol.
• Olga Kovatidi, member of the Russian Federation Council from Crimea.
• Ludmila Shvetsova, deputy chairman of the State Duma—responsible for initiating legislation to integrate Crimea into Russia.
• Sergei Neverov, deputy chairman of the State Duma, responsible for law to integrate Crimea into Russia.
• Igor Sergun, director of GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate), deputy chief of the general staff of Russia’s armed forces. He is responsible for GRU officers in Eastern Ukraine.
• Valery Gerasimov, chief of the general staff of Russia’s armed forces, first deputy minister of defense, army general responsible for “massive deployment” of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine.
• German Prokopiv, active leader of the Lugansk Guard who took part in the seizure of the building of the Lugansk regional office of the Security Service, recorded a video address to President Vladimir Putin and Russia from the occupied building. Close links with the “Army of the South-East.”
• Valeriy Bolotov, one of the leaders of the separatist group Army of the South-East, which occupied the building of the Security Service in the Lugansk region. Retired officer. Before seizing the building, he and others possessed arms apparently supplied by Russia and local criminal groups.
• Andriy Purgin, head of the “Donetsk Republic”, active organiser of separatist actions, co-ordinator of actions of the “Russian tourists” in Donetsk. Co-founder of a “Civic Initiative of Donbass for the Eurasian Union.”
• Denys Pushylin, one of the leaders of the Donetsk People’s Republic. Participated in the seizure and occupation of the regional administration. Spokesman for the separatists.
• Tsyplakov Gennadevich, one of the leaders of “ideologically radical organization”, the People’s Militia of Donbass. He took part in the seizure of state buildings in the Donetsk region.
• Igor Strelkov, identified as staff of the main intelligence directorate of the general staff of Russia’s armed forces. He was involved in incidents in Sloviansk. He is an assistant on security issues to Sergey Aksionov, self- proclaimed prime-minister of Crimea.