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EU blacklists eight Russians over Kerch Strait incident — source

The list is extended twice a year — until March 15 and until September 15

BRUSSELS, February 20. /TASS/. The EU Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) has blacklisted eight more Russian nationals over the Kerch Strait incident and extended the validity of that blacklist for six months, until September 15, a European diplomatic course informed TASS on Wednesday.

"The ambassadors of 28 EU member-countries decided to extend for six months the prohibitive measures against those responsible for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity. The list also includes eight individuals responsible for the Kerch Strait incident," he said.

He noted that the decision would be endorsed by the EU Council and come into force in the first week of March. The names of eight Russians added to that list will also be known in early March. Those who have been blacklisted will be banned from entering the EU and denied access to the EU banking system. After its expansion, this blacklist will include 171 people, including Russian and Ukrainian citizens, and 44 legal entities, mainly the government agencies and military units of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics. The list is extended twice a year - until March 15 and until September 15.

Kerch Strait incident

On November 25, 2018, three Ukrainian naval ships violated the rules of passage from the Black Sea to the Sea of Azov. The intruding Ukrainian vessels illegally crossed the Russian state border, trespassed into Russian territorial waters and conducted dangerous maneuvers. In defiance of repeated warnings and demands to halt, the Ukrainian ships carried on violating the law, which drove the Russian forces to use gunfire in order to compel them to stop. As a result, all three ships were detained. A criminal case was opened over the violation of the Russian state border.