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EU sanctions Russia intel chiefs

AP

The European Union on Friday extended its Ukraine-related sanctions to target top Russian intelligence officials and leaders of the pro-Moscow revolt in eastern Ukraine, official documents showed.

Among the 15 new people subjected to an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban for allegedly undermining or threatening Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence were Mikhail Fradkov, director of Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service; Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Russian Federal Security Service, and Sergei Beseda, head of the FSB department that oversees international operations and intelligence activity.

The new measures, designed to increase the international pressure on Moscow and its rebel allies in Ukraine, were announced in the EU’s Official Journal, and took effect immediately. Eighteen businesses and organizations, including rebel formations in Ukraine’s east such as the “Donetsk People’s Republic” and “Luhansk People’s Republic,” were added to the trade bloc’s sanctions list at the same time.

The actions brought the total number of people under EU penalties in connection with Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the revolt in eastern Ukraine to 87. Two Crimea-based energy businesses had already had their EU holdings frozen.

Earlier on Friday, EU ambassadors reached a preliminary deal to go even further in bringing pressure on Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defense sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.

EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said the proposals have now been transmitted to EU officials to codify into regulations, with the ambassadors scheduled to meet again Tuesday to review the results. She said EU member states must decide whether the measures need to be approved by a summit meeting of the organization’s 28 member countries to go into effect.

Foreign ministers of the European Union on Tuesday ordered the preparation of stepped-up economic sanctions, frustrated over Russia’s refusal to heed their demands to help bring about an end to the fighting in Ukraine, and with many Europeans leaders and citizens outraged by the shooting down of a Malaysian jetliner over eastern Ukraine.

Others added to the EU black list Friday were pro-Moscow insurgency leaders Pavel Gubarev, Ekaterina Gubareva, Fedor Berezin, Valery Kaurov, Serhii Zdriliuk and Vladimir Antyufeyev.

A pair of local dignitaries in Russia, Chechen Republic President Ramzan Kadyrov and Krasnodar Regional Gov. Alexander Tkachyov, were also included, as were three members of Russia’s Security Council: Nikolai Patrushev, Rashid Nurgaliev and Boris Gryzlov.