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KIEV, May 16. /TASS/. Ukrainian President Pyotr Poroshenko has brought into effect a decision made by the country’s National Security Council aimed at extending sanctions against foreign members of parliament imposed on them for visiting Crimea, the presidential press service said on Tuesday.
The document stipulates that Ukraine will "refuse to issue visas to foreign nationals, ban them from entering the country and impose other restrictions." The document will remain in force for one year.
Sanctions apply to citizens of France, Greece, Israel, Spain, Italy, Serbia and some other countries.
Earlier on Tuesday, Poroshenko signed an expanded blacklist consisting of 1,228 individuals and 468 companies. This time, a number of the Russian State Duma (lower house of parliament) members, judges of the Russian Constitutional Court, Russian journalists and TV channels have been added to the blacklist. Besides, sanctions have been imposed on several Russian companies, including 1C, ABBYY and their Ukrainian subsidiaries. In addition, Russia’s VKontakte and Odnoklassniki social networks, Mail.ru and Yandex companies have been banned.
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests began in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 16, 2014, a referendum on reuniting with Russia was conducted. Over 80% of voters participated in the plebiscite, most of them supporting the idea (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol).
On March 18, the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was signed by President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21, 2014.
In September 2015, Ukraine announced the first sanctions against Russian individuals and companies, since then the blacklist has been expanded several times.
At present, the list particularly contains some personnel of TASS, the Rossiya Segodnya news agency, the Izvestia and Rossiyskaya Gazeta dailies, the RUPTLY news agency, the Vzglyad.ru website, the NTV TV company and Channel One, as well as Crimean Prime Minister Sergei Aksyonov, leader of Russia’s Liberal Democratic Party Vladimir Zhirinovsky, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Federation Council (upper house of parliament) Chairperson Valentina Matviyenko, senators and State Duma members.
Sanctions also apply to Russian companies, including the UTair air company, the Almaz-Antey Concern, the Bank of Moscow, Gazprombank, the Aeroflot airline, Rosoboronexport, Izhmash, Kamaz, the Rostec corporation and some others.