EU Imposes Sanctions on Russian Intelligence Chiefs
The EU announced on Saturday that it widens its sanctions list against Russia to include Russian chiefs of intelligence services.
The list was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.
Among the 15 new people subjected to an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban were Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Russian Federal Security Service, and Sergei Beseda, head of the FSB department that oversees international operations and intelligence activity. Four members of Russia's Security Council were also included on the EU list.
Eighteen organizations or businesses, including rebel formations in eastern Ukraine, were also added to sanctions list.
The action brought the total number of people under EU sanction in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea and the revolt in eastern Ukraine to 87.
Two Crimea-based energy businesses had already had their EU holdings frozen.
On Friday, EU ambassadors reached a preliminary deal to go even further in sanctioning Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defense sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.
The new list, which is due to be finalised on Tuesday, could include oligarchs close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, diplomatic sources said.
Meanwhile, the White House repeated its accusations of Putin over the downing of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 flight in eastern Ukraine, saying Friday that available evidence shows the Russians are "culpable" in the plane crash.
A day earlier, the US claimed that Russian forces have fired artillery into Ukraine in an attempt to disrupt government forces.
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