Four Putin allies hit EU sanctions list
Iran Press TV
Tue Jul 29, 2014 3:50PM GMT
The EU has added new names to its sanctions list, targeting four Russian individuals closely tied to President Vladimir Putin, a European Union official says.
The official, whose name was not revealed, confirmed to media that the individuals are Putin's business associates, with their names expected to be released on Wednesday.
The sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans as part of tougher measures over Moscow's alleged support of pro-Russians in eastern Ukraine.
The EU is also expected to impose additional sanctions -- also known as Phase-3 sanctions – which are meant to target Russia's economy including its capital markets, defense and sensitive technology.
The 28-member bloc is expected to ban arms sales to Russia, and instead put in place a number of other punitive measures.
Last week, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) warned that the European economies, which have active and direct trade links with Russia, will be worst hit by the sanctions regime.
The EU along with the United States have been accusing Moscow of playing a role in the crisis in eastern Ukraine, which broke out when Kiev launched military operations to silence pro-Russia protests in April.
Threats of sanctions intensified further after Malaysian Flight MH17, which had been heading from the Dutch capital of Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, was reportedly shot down over Ukraine's volatile Donetsk region on July 17.
Western powers accuse pro-Russia forces of downing the civilian airliner. The pro-Russians deny any involvement in the tragedy or links to the militias in eastern Ukraine.
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