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    The EU blacklist targets a total of 19 individuals from Ukraine and Russia. Above: The EU nations flags are mirrored in the windows of the EU Council headquarters.

    New EU Blacklist Puts Military Officials, MPs in Crosshairs

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)
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    The blacklist includes a total of 19 individuals and nine entities from Ukraine and Russia over their alleged role in the destabilization of Ukraine.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — Two Russian parliamentarians – United Russia member Iosif Kobzon and Communist Party member Valery Rashkin, have been included in the European Union's blacklist published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Monday.

    The two Russian politicians were among a list of 19 individuals, including three top Defense Ministry officials, and nine entities over their alleged role in the destabilization of Ukraine.

    At an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on January 29, EU foreign ministers said they were compiling a list of new names to be targeted by EU travel bans and asset freezes.

    Kobzon, who is also a renowned singer, was added to the blacklist for allegedly visiting his native Donetsk Region, now controlled by the pro-independence militia, and making speeches there. Rashkin is accused of organizing demonstrations in Russia in support of eastern Ukrainian militias.

    Both politicians voted in favor of a law that accepted the breakaway republic of Crimea as a Russian federal region, after the majority of the Black Sea peninsula voted in March to leave Ukraine for Russia.

    Among the Russian military officials targeted by the blacklist are the Russian Deputy Defense Minister Anatoly Antonov, First Deputy Defense Minister Arkady Bakhin and deputy head of the Russian Armed Forced general staff Andrei Kartapolov.

    The deputy head of the militia from the self-proclaimed eastern Ukrainian Donetsk People's Republic (DPR), Eduard Basurin, has also been added to the list.

    A number of ministers from the self-proclaimed Luhansk People's Republic are also included in the blacklist, as well as commanders of armed groups fighting in eastern Ukraine.

    At an extraordinary meeting in Brussels on January 29, EU foreign chiefs said they were making a list of new names to be targeted for EU travel bans and asset freezes.

    The foreign ministers have adopted the list on February 9. However, they delayed its publication until February 16 so as not to impede Ukraine reconciliation talks, brokered by Russia, France and Germany that were underway last week.

    Western sanctions imposed to date target Russia's defense, energy and finance sectors, as well as several dozen individuals.

    The Kremlin calls the sanctions counterproductive, saying they do no help the resolution of the Ukrainian conflict in any way. On Friday, Russian envoy to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said the decision to expand the blacklist would discourage the warring parties from adhering to the ceasefire reached last week.

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    Western Sanctions Against Russia (737)

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    anti-Russian sanctions, sanctions, Donetsk People's Republic, Eduard Basurin, Valery Rashkin, Iosif Kobzon, Ukraine, Russia, Europe
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