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EU To Renew Russia Sanctions, Keep Bar On Antonov


Russia's new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov will remain on the EU sanctions list as no country asked for his removal. (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- The European Union will prolong its asset freezes and visa bans on Russian officials and Moscow-backed separatists in Ukraine for another six months, with Russia's new ambassador to the United States likely to remain on the list, diplomats said.

Ambassadors from the 28 EU member states decided to renew the measures at a meeting on September 6 in Brussels, according to several diplomats who were close to the talks but were not authorized to speak publicly about the decision.

EU justice ministers are expected to give the final confirmation on September 14, one day before they are due to expire, the diplomats said.

The diplomats said that Russia's new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov will remain on the EU sanctions list as no country asked for his removal.

Antonov, a former deputy defense minister and deputy foreign minister who arrived in Washington on August 31 to take up his post, is under EU and Canadian sanctions but not U.S. sanctions.

Asset freezes and visa bans were first imposed by the EU on people responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity in March 2014, after Russia occupied and seized control of Crimea. Those sanctions have been extended every six months.

The Russians under EU sanctions include Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin; Sergei Glazyev, an adviser to Russian President Vladimir Putin; Armed Forces General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov; and state TV presenter Dmitry Kiselyov.

The EU will also add the company Crimean Sea Ports, which runs several ports on the peninsula, to the sanctions list and remove four separatists who have died since the last renewal.

A total of 149 people and 38 entities are expected to remain on the list.

With reporting by Rikard Jozwiak
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