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EU Extends Asset Freezes Over Crimea Annexation

BRUSSELS -- EU ambassadors on March 9 extended asset freezes and visa bans on 146 people and 37 entities that according to the EU have benefited from Russia’s annexation of Crimea or been responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

The list, which will be prolonged by six months, includes Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Russian presidential adviser Sergei Glazyev, and Dmitry Kiselyov, who many regard as the Kremlin's chief propagandist.

The entities include several companies in Crimea and various battalions formed by the Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Three people, all deceased, were removed from the list, including Igor Sergun, the former director of the GRU, the main intelligence directorate of the Russian armed forces. Sergun died unexpectedly in Lebanon at the beginning of the year.

The decision will come into force later this week.

On March 2, the United States announced that it had prolonged similar sanctions. The main economic sanctions against Russia's energy and bank sectors are up for renewal at the end of July.

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