Ukraine expands list of sanctions against Russia
Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko on Wednesday expanded a list of sanctions against Russian companies and individuals held responsible for the ex-Soviet state's eastern uprising and for Moscow's annexation of Crimea.
Poroshenko’s spokesman tweeted that the president had signed a law enacting targeted measures against 400 officials and 90 companies.
It was not immediately clearly whom the punitive steps targeted or what immediate effect they would have.
Ukraine’s original list of punitive measures against Russia agreed last year was also never officially published.
Poroshenko’s latest decision was announced just hours after rebels in the separatist province of Donetsk formally agreed to conduct regional elections on October 18.
The neighbouring rebel region of Lugansk intends to hold its vote on November 1.
The two dates conflict with Ukraine’s plans for government-held regions to choose local representatives on October 25.
Poroshenko has denounced the insurgents’ moe as illegal and detrimental to a shaky truce the warring sides signed up to in February.
“I want to stress the great danger posed by the decision to hold fake elections on October 18 and November 1,” Poroshenko’s website quoted the president as telling a visiting delegation of the European Union’s Political and Security Committee.
Washington and Brussels have also imposed sanctions against Russian companies and top allies of President Vladimir Putin.
Russia views Ukraine’s 17-month crisis as a “civil war” in which it has played no role. The United Nations estimates that nearly 8,000 people — most of them civilians — have died in Europe’s bloodiest conflict since the Balkans crises of the 1990s.