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BRUSSELS, July 10 (itar-Tass) - A session of the European Union in Belgium’s Brussels on Wednesday decided to blacklist 11 more Russian and Ukrainian nationals banning them entry to EU member states and freezing their European assets, an unnamed source told Itar-Tass on Thursday.
The extended blacklist, which already contained 61 people, comes into force on Thursday and the names will be announced after they will be published in the official EU journal.
“The new list is largely comprised with names of separatist leaders from the east of Ukraine,” the source said speaking on conditions of anonymity.
The European Union initiated the blacklist, which contain the names of Russian and Ukrainians from the southwest of the country, over the Republic of Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and the subsequent merger with Russia.
Political and economic turmoil has embraced Ukraine after a coup rocked the country in February following months of anti-government protests, often violent, triggered by President Viktor Yanukovich’s decision to suspend the signing of an association agreement with the EU in November 2013 in order to study the deal more thoroughly.
Amid deadly riots that involved radicals in February 2014, new people were brought to power in Kiev. Ukraine’s crisis deteriorated further when the Republic of Crimea, where most residents are Russians, reunified with Russia on March 18.
Ukraine’s heavily industrialized southeastern regions are currently embroiled in an armed conflict between pro-Kiev authorities and local pro-federalization supporters.
Hundreds of people have been killed, buildings have been destroyed and tens of thousands have been forced to cross the border from Ukraine to Russia since April as a result of Kiev’s military operation against federalization supporters in Ukraine’s southeast involving armored vehicles, heavy artillery and attack aviation.