Tuesday, October 21, 2014


Ukraine

EU Sanctions Hit Russian Intelligence Officials, Rebel Leaders

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By Rikard Jozwiak

BRUSSELS, July 26, 2014 -- The European Union has added to its sanctions list 15 individuals and 18 entities over their role in the Ukraine crisis.

Among the individuals subjected to travel bans and asset freezes are Chechen President Ramzan Kadyrov, Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) director Mikhail Fradkov, Federal Security Service (FSB) director Aleksandr Bortnikov as well as Pavel Gubarev, self-described leader of the so-called Republic of Donetsk.

Sergei Beseda, who is responsible for FSB's intelligence operations and international activity, is included as well.

Kadyrov has expressed support for the annexation of Crimea and has said that he was ready to send 74,000 volunteers to eastern Ukraine.

The governor of Russia's Krasnodar region, Aleksandr Tkachyov has, like Kadyrov, been added for his support for the current Crimean authorities.

Three more members of Russia's Security Council are on the list -- Nikolai Patrushev, Rashid Nurgaliev and Boris Gryzlov -- as well as Mikhail Degtyarev from the State Duma.

Six separatists from eastern Ukraine have also been blacklisted.

Pavel Gubarev, one of the so-called leaders of the self-proclaimed People's Republic of Donetsk is on the list as is his wife Ekaterina Gubareva.

They are joined by the defense minister and the first vice prime minister of the self-styled republic, Fedor Berezin and Vladimir Antyufeyev -- former "minister of state security" in Moldova's separatist Transdniester region.

Also on the list are the self-described president of the so-called Republic of Novorossiya, Valery Kaurov and Serhy Zdriliuk -- a senior aide of the paramilitary leader Igor Strelkov, who has already been blacklisted by the EU.

The 18 entities consist of nine companies and nine institutions set up by pro-Russian separatists who have proclaimed independence in eastern Ukraine.

Among the institutions slapped with sanctions are the self-proclaimed separatist entities of Luhansk and Donetsk in eastern Ukraine as well as Novorossiya.  

Six military separatist groups fighting in eastern Ukraine will also have their assets frozen: the Luhansk guard, the Army of the Southeast, the Donbass People's militia, the Vostok battalion, Sobol and the International Union of Public Associations ”Great Don Army."

The nine economic entities on the list are companies from Crimea whose ownership was transferred contrary to Ukrainian law after the region's annexation by Russia, including the Kerch ferry enterprise and the Kerch commercial seaport, the Sevastopol commercial seaport, the “Nizhnyaya Oreanda" resort, the Azov distillery plant, the Novy Svet sparkling wine factory, the Magarach national institute of wine, agricultural company Massandra and Universal Avia.

The EU list of sanctions now has 87 individuals and 20 entities in Ukraine and Russia. EU ambassadors might decide to expand the numbers further when they meet in Brussels on 28 July.

According to EU sources, the 28-member bloc's leaders are also expected to agree on restrictions to exporting oil technology as part of a new sanctions package targeting Russia while excluding the Russian gas sector from the punitive measures.

EU members have shown hesitance to impose penalties impacting Russian gas, which Europe relies on heavily for energy.

The sources said that the exclusion of gas-extraction technology from the sanctions improves the likelihood that EU leaders will agree on a sanctions package punishing Russia for its role in the Ukraine crisis.

EU Council President Herman van Rompuy said in an official letter sent to EU heads of state that the gas exclusion is based on "the need to preserve EU energy security," according to two sources who read from the letter.

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