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EU Expected To Expand Russia Sanctions Over Presidential Poll In Crimea


A campaign billboard for Russian President Vladimir Putin in the annexed Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea earlier this year.

BRUSSELS -- The European Union is set to sanction five people who, according to the bloc, helped organize the Russian presidential election in the annexed Ukrainian region of Crimea in March.

Sources familiar with the matter who were not authorized to speak on the record told RFE/RL on April 30 that EU diplomats have been working on updating the bloc's sanctions list for the last several weeks, and EU ambassadors are set to confirm the move when they meet on May 8.

EU ministers would then rubber-stamp the decision one week later.

The names of the individuals to be added to the sanctions list were not provided.

The EU has already frozen the assets of and slapped visa bans on 150 Russian officials and Moscow-backed separatists, as well as 38 entities, that according to Brussels are responsible for actions violating Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The sanctions were first imposed in March 2014 after Russia occupied and annexed Crimea and have been prolonged every six months since, most recently in March.

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