The EU and the US have imposed travel bans and asset freezes against a number of Russian and Ukrainian officials following the controversial referendum in Crimea.
The moves follow Sunday’s referendum in Crimea, in which officials say 97% of voters backed breaking away from Ukraine and joining Russia.
The individuals targeted by the sanctions are seen as having played a key role in the referendum, which Kiev, the US and EU deem illegal.
Pro-Russian forces have been in control of Crimea since late February.
Moscow says the troops are pro-Russian self-defense forces and not under its direct control.
President Barack Obama said in a press conference that Washington stood “ready to impose further sanctions” depending on whether Russia escalated or de-escalated the situation in Ukraine.
If Moscow continued to intervene in Ukraine, Barack Obama warned, it would “achieve nothing except to further isolate Russia and diminish its place in the world”.
The EU published a list of sanctions against 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials after a meeting of foreign ministers in Brussels. The list includes the acting prime minister of Crimea, the speaker of Crimea’s parliament, three senior Russian commanders and several senior Russian parliamentary officials.
Selection of officials targeted:
- Dmitry Rogozin – Russian deputy PM (US)
- Valentina Matviyenko – head of Russia’s upper house (US)
- Sergei Aksyonov – acting PM of Crimea (US and EU)
- Vladimir Konstantinov – speaker of Crimean parliament (US and EU)
- Viktor Yanukovych – former Ukrainian president (US)
- Andrei Klishas – member of Russia’s upper house (US and EU)
- Leonid Slutsky – head of Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) parliamentary committee in Russia (US and EU)
- Sergei Zheleznyak – deputy speaker of Russia’s state Duma (EU)
- Alexsandr Vitko – commander of Black Sea Fleet (EU) [youtube HRY6OyI5F0k 650]
[youtube Gteq8Nq-J18 650]