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U.S. Joins EU, Canada In Imposing Fresh Crimea-Related Sanctions

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Celebrations Greet Moscow-Simferopol Train After Opening Of Bridge To Crimea

The U.S. Treasury Department has joined the European Union and Canada in imposing new sanctions on Russia in response to Moscow's "continued aggression toward Ukraine and attempted occupation of Crimea," a news release says.

A total of eight individuals and a privately owned railroad company face restrictive measures in the form of asset freezes in the United States, according to the department's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC).

Seven of these individuals, whom the Treasury Department called “illegitimate Russian-backed Crimean officials,” were also designated by the EU on January 28. Canada blacklisted six of the individuals.

The imposition of sanctions was made "as part of a coordinated action in a strong demonstration of the international community's continued condemnation of Russia's interference in Crimean politics."

There are now 692 individuals and entities, as well as their subsidiaries, blacklisted by the U.S. government.

Grand Service Express and its CEO, Aleksandr Ganov, were put under sanctions for supporting "Russia's efforts to deepen the economic integration of Russia and Crimea."

It was in reference to a rail link that was opened in late December between Russia and the Ukrainian peninsula over a bridge that was built for which sanctions were also imposed.

"The GSE transport company operates in Russia, therefore, sanctions will not affect the company's activities," the press service of Grand Service Express told Interfax.

The Russian Embassy in Washington said the U.S. sanctions will not affect Moscow’s policies but will undermine the “basis for mutually beneficial cooperation with our country."

The embassy statement added that the U.S. administration was attempting "to misrepresent the strengthening of local government and transparent political processes" in Crimea.

The EU’s Russian sanctions list now consists of 177 individuals and 44 entities. Canada's analogous list contains more than 430 individuals and entities.

Canada, the EU, and the United States began issuing the restrictive measures after Russia seized Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014 and their respective sanctions lists have grown over the subsequent years as Moscow has continued to back separatists in eastern Ukraine.

The seven individuals include Sergei Danilenko, Lidia Basova, and Yekaterina Pyrkova of Sevastopol's municipal election committee, as well as Yuriy Gotsanyuk, the head of the de facto Crimean government. The three other targeted individuals are Mikhail Razvozhayev, Vladimir Nemtsev, and Yekaterina Altabayeva.

With reporting by Interfax
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