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Five Russian citizens on expanded EU sanctions list

February 16, 2015, 11:05 UTC+3
The list includes two deputy defense ministers, deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff of the Armed Forces, a well-known singer and lawmaker and another high-ranking lawmaker
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BRUSSELS, February 16. /TASS/. The European Union has expanded its blacklist, adding five Russian citizens, 14 militia members of eastern Ukraine and nine entities - the armed groups of militias in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk people’s republics, according to the EU Official Journal published on Monday.

The Russian citizens on the list are Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, well-known singer and a lawmaker Joseph Kobzon, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma Committee on Ethnicity Issues, Valery Rashkin, First Deputy Defense Minister Arkady Bakhin and deputy chief of Russia’s General Staff of the Armed Forces, Andrey Kartapolov.

In particular, Kobzon, who was born in eastern Ukraine, is blacklisted for having visited the Donetsk people’s republic and making statements supporting militias, says the EU Official Journal. Kobzon was also appointed the honorary consul of the Donetsk republic in Russia.

The sanctions list also includes the Donetsk people’s republic’s defense ministry spokesman, Eduard Basurin, who actively supports "actions and policies which undermine the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," the EU says.

Antonov earlier told Euronews commenting reports that he would be on the EU blacklist: "I am honoured because it means that I am working effectively." He added that this is a "high evaluation" of what he has done.

"I am a little surprised when I hear that somebody would like to introduce sanctions against diplomats. What will be in the future? Who will start dialogue?" he said.

The official added that the inclusion on the blacklist would not make him stop talking about the necessity of dialogue. "I did, I do and I will protect and defend foreign policy of Russian Federation and policy of my president," he said.

The restrictive measures enter into force since being published in the EU Official Journal.

Infographics Economical sanctions against Russia Economical sanctions against Russia
The USA, EU, Canada and Australia have introduced sanctions against Russia over its involvement in the Ukrainian crisis. Infographics by ITAR-TASS

Sanctions against Russia in connection with situation in Ukraine

The West started imposing sanctions on Russia in March 2014 over the events in Ukraine. First, an early EU summit stalled the talks on a visa-free regime and a new base agreement on Russia-EU cooperation. Further on, the sanctions were grouped into three categories — personal, corporate and sectoral.

By the beginning of September, some 420 Russian individuals and 143 companies had been put on the sanction lists of the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Switzerland and Norway.

The sectoral sanctions imposed for a term of one year include embargo on the supply of arms to Russia and the imports of Russian weapons and related materials, a ban on the delivery of dual-purpose products and technologies to Russia, as well as innovative technologies for Russia’s oil extracting industry.

In mid-September, the European Union published new sanctions against Russia in its official journal.

Russia fully banned the imports of meat, fish, cheeses, milk, vegetables and fruits from western countries that had imposed economic sanctions against Russian citizens and companies on August 7, 2014.

Spain’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said that he estimated Europe’s losses from its sanctions against Russia at €21 billion.

"The sanctions have caused damage to everyone. By now, the European Union has lost €21 billion from a contraction in its exports," the minister said.

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