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EU To Sanction Nine People Over Ukraine Separatist Vote

(illustrative photo)
(illustrative photo)

BRUSSELS -- The European Union is now expected to add nine individuals allegedly involved in the organization of last month’s elections in the areas controlled by Russia-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine to its sanctions list, according to sources in Brussels.

The bloc's ambassadors agreed to the move on December 5, several EU sources familiar with the matter who could not speak on the record told RFE/RL.

The sources said only five people were initially expected to be added to the list but several countries led by Poland called for another four individuals to be included.

The bloc's foreign ministers are due to agree to the move when they meet in the Belgian capital early next week.

The nine individuals would join 155 other people from Russia and Ukraine who are currently subject to EU asset freezes and travel bans.

The bloc has also frozen the assets of 44 entities from both countries since Moscow's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014 and its support for separatists in a conflict that has killed more than 10,300 people in eastern Ukraine since April 2014.

Kyiv and its international backers, including the European Union and the United States, have denounced the November 11 polls in the areas held by the separatists in the Donetsk and neighboring Luhansk regions as a sham.

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    Rikard Jozwiak

    Rikard Jozwiak is the Europe editor for RFE/RL in Prague, focusing on coverage of the European Union and NATO. He previously worked as RFE/RL’s Brussels correspondent, covering numerous international summits, European elections, and international court rulings. He has reported from most European capitals, as well as Central Asia.

RFE/RL has been declared an "undesirable organization" by the Russian government.

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