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May 28, 2017

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EU, Ukraine sign political provisions of historic accord

Ukraine interim Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk put his country firmly in the Western camp Friday, signing the political provisions of a landmark association accord with EU leaders in defiance of Russia.

"We are sure that together we will succeed," Yatsenyuk said after the European Union's 28 heads of state and government signed their names to the deal.

The political provisions of the "EU-Ukraine Association Agreement" cover shared democratic values, improved economic ties, judicial reform and other aspects of civil society.

Federation Council Ratifies Crimea Takeover

As if on cue with Friday's signing, Russia's upper house of parliament voted unanimously to ratify the treaty incorporating Crimea into Russia, following a similar vote Thursday in the lower house.

U.S. President Barack Obama blacklisted 20 Russian lawmakers and senior government officials Thursday, in addition to 11 already targeted.

Among those named were top businessmen close to Putin such as billionaires Gennady Timchenko, Arkady Rotenberg and Boris Rotenberg.

Bank Rossiya was listed separately as a target for sanctions.

Americans and American businesses are forbidden from any dealings with anyone targeted by the sanctions and any assets they might have in the U.S. are frozen.

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