EU to add 19 names to Ukraine sanctions list: sources

5th February 2015, Comments 0 comments

The EU will add 19 people including five Russians to its sanctions list over the conflict in Ukraine following a surge in fighting between Kiev and pro-Moscow rebels, European sources said Thursday.

Nine "entities" will also be targeted by the sanctions, which were agreed at an emergency meeting of foreign ministers from the 28-nation European Union in Brussels last week, several sources told AFP.

The new additions must be formally approved when the foreign ministers meet again on Monday.

None of the 19 new figures targeted for travel bans and asset freezes is "top level", the sources said, while only one of the entities is Russian.

The majority of those on the blacklist are likely to be either separatist leaders blamed for stoking the fighting in eastern Ukraine, or figures in Crimea, which Russia annexed in March 2014.

The crisis in Ukraine began in November 2013 when the then-president Viktor Yanukovych, under pressure from Moscow, refused to sign a deal deepening ties with the European Union, sparking protests which led to his overthrow.

The EU first imposed travel bans and asset freezes on a number of individuals after the Crimea annexation but dramatically strengthened sanctions to include economic sectors after the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 in July.

Last week the EU agreed to extend individual sanctions imposed last March by six months but failed to reach a deal on fresh economic sanctions in the wake of the new fighting in eastern Ukraine.

Deep divisions in the EU between hawkish eastern European states and others that fear the impact on their trade ties with Russia have been exacerbated with the recent election of a Greek government that stressed its determination to keep up relations with Moscow.

© 2015 AFP

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