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Ukrainian President To Expand Sanctions Against Russians, Paralleling U.S.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (left) meets with U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Wess Mitchell in Kyiv on May 2.

Ukraine will expand financial and other sanctions against Russian individuals and companies, paralleling U.S. efforts to punish Moscow for its actions in Ukraine and elsewhere.

President Petro Poroshenko, who made the announcement on May 2 after a meeting with his National Security and Defense Council, did not specify whom the sanctions would target or when they would take effect.

But he said the move came in response to "the use of chemical weapons in the center of Europe, and with the conduct of illegal presidential elections on the territory of occupied Crimea."

"With today's decision, we have coordinated new sanctions that are being introduced with those that have been introduced by the United States against citizens and legal entities of the Russian Federation," he said on Twitter.

The mention of chemical weapons is a reference to Britain's conclusions that Russia was behind the nerve-agent poisoning of a Russian double agent in England in March. Moscow has denied involvement.

Russia also allowed residents of the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea, which Moscow annexed in 2014, to vote in Russia's March presidential election, which Vladimir Putin won easily.

It wasn't immediately clear what effect the new Ukrainian measures will have. Despite tensions, Ukraine remains one of Russia's largest trading partners, though many Russian companies have already scaled back their Ukraine-linked business due to previous rounds of sanctions.

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