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May 27, 2017

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EU names latest Ukraine sanctions targets

OTTAWA/BRUSSELS--The European Union said on Saturday that it has extended sanctions to cover 11 leaders of the pro-Moscow rebellion in eastern Ukraine.

Pro-Russian rebels in the east have declared independence and have been fighting government troops, leaving more than 400 dead. Tens of thousands have fled their homes.

Targets of the asset freeze and travel ban include two Russian spin doctors, Alexander Borodai, prime minister of the separatist Donetsk People's Republic, and his counterpart in the Luhansk People's Republic, Marat Bashirov.

Both formerly worked for Russian tycoons.

The names were published Saturday in the EU's Official Journal. It brought the total of people affected by the EU's Ukraine-related sanctions to 72, as well as two companies whose EU-based assets have been ordered frozen.

Also on the new list were two men identified as rebel military leaders: Nikolai Kozitsyn, commander of Cossack forces, and Alexei Mosgovy, responsible for military training.

The EU Official Journal said the sanctions, agreed by EU ambassadors on Wednesday, go into effect Saturday.

A Russian diplomat chided Brussels for the move.

Vladimir Chizhov, the Russian envoy to the EU, said in comments carried by Interfax on Saturday that Moscow believes in bringing peace to eastern Ukraine through negotiations, and that "blacklisting opponents isn't helping to build a dialogue with them."

Ukraine has refused to negotiate with rebels whom it describes as terrorists, although a Kiev envoy has taken part in a round table with Borodai along with representatives of Russia and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe.

Rebels have rejected Ukraine's call to lay down their arms as a condition for cease-fire negotiations.

In eastern Ukraine, at least four people were killed overnight in Maryinka, a western suburb of Donetsk, when mortar fire hit several apartment blocks near a rebel base, local people said. Four buildings were on fire. An Associated Press journalist saw two bodies.

Local residents, some of whom were fleeing in panic, told the AP that the strikes happened every half hour roughly between 11 p.m. Friday and 4 a.m. Saturday.

It was unclear which side fired the mortars.

New Canadian sanctions over Ukranian crisis

The Canadian government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper has added 14 individuals to a list of people facing economic sanctions and travel bans related to the Ukranian crisis.

"Russia's illegal occupation of the Crimean peninsula and provocative military activity remains a serious concern to Canada and the international community," Harper said in a statement Friday.

This brings to 43 the number of Russian targeted by Canada in sanctions coordinated with the U.S. and the EU. Thirty pro-Russian Ukrainians have also been hit with visa bans and other measures by Ottawa.

The announcement was made on the day that Minister for International Trade Ed Fast concluded a three-day trade and development mission to Ukraine.

Harper said Canada supports Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko's peace plan "and we will continue to apply pressure against Russia with our allies and partners. We continue to closely monitor the situation and we are ready for further actions if necessary."

1 Comment
July 13, 2014    satchandrag@
Russia and Ukraine are a single country temporarily separated by the machinations of the CIA. They should forget everything and re-unite with the help of other republics that were part of the same country, with no role for the EU or the UN.
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