EU blacklists 15 more Russian officials over Ukraine
The EU on Tuesday (29 April) added 15 more names to a travel ban list of Russian officials linked to events in eastern Ukraine, but unlike the US, it refrained from targeting businesses and trade with Russia.
According to the legal text published in the Official Journal of the EU, "in view of the gravity of the situation" in eastern Ukraine 15 persons were added to the blacklist which so far contained 33 names.
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The move was co-ordinated with the US, which extended its own blacklist on Monday and added businessmen, companies and limited trade of military-use products with Russia.
The most prominent on the list is the head of the Russian army, Valery Vasilevich Gerasimov, "responsible for the massive deployment of Russian troops along the border with Ukraine and lack of de-escalation of the situation."
Six names on the EU list are linked to the annexation of Crimea: Dmitry Nikolayevich Kozak, a deputy Prime Minister "responsible for overseeing the integration of the annexed Autonomous Republic of Crimea into the Russian Federation" is listed together with Oleg Yevgenyvich Belaventsev, a Russian presidential envoy to Crimea and Oleg Genrikhovich Savelyev, the minister for Crimean affairs.
Sergei Ivanovich Menyailo, acting governor of Sevastopol, the Crimean military port, is also on the list. So are two lawmakers involved in the annexation process: Ludmila Ivanovna Shvetsova and Sergei Ivanovich Neverov.
Turning to eastern Ukraine, the EU blacklisted Igor Dmitrievich Sergun, the director of GRU intelligence service and a deputy chief of staff of the Russian armed forces, responsible for the activities of intelligence officers in eastern Ukraine.
Igor Strelkov, a staff member of the same GRU intelligence service, is listed because he was involved in incidents in the eastern Ukrainian city of Sloviansk. He is also an assistant on security issues to Sergey Aksionov, the self-proclaimed prime-minister of Crimea.
Five other persons are linked to the separatist movements in eastern Ukraine: German Prokopiv, leader of the "Lugansk Guard" which seized official buildings in Lugansk, Valeriy Bolotov, a retired officer and leader of another separatist group in Lugansk, the "Army of the south-east", as well as Andriy Purgin, head of the "Donetsk Republic", a self-proclaimed state-town.
Denys Pushylin, another leader of the "Donetsk Republic" and spokesperson for the separatists is also listed together with Tsyplakov Sergey Gennadevich, leader of a local militia in Donbas active in the seizure of state buildings in the Donetsk region.
President Vladimir Putin, however, is not on the list.
He was spotted by a Russian photographer on Monday night as he was hugging former German chancellor Gerhard Schroeder at his 70 birthday party organised in Moscow by an affiliate of Gazprom, Spiegel reports.