European Union extends Russian Federation sanctions over Crimea

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The European Union has expanded anti-Russian sanctions because of the scandal with the shipment of Siemens turbines to the Crimea, the EU Council reported.

The new tightening came in response to the delivery of Siemens' gas turbines to Crimea in violation of European Union sanctions, which bar doing business there since Russia's annexation of the peninsula from Ukraine, a move which has not been internationally recognized. The machines were then illegally sent to a power project and modified locally in Krim, as the Russians call it. "This is the reason why, in accordance with a sad tradition, no legal arguments for blacklisting the Russian Energy Ministry officials have been provided", the statement adds.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russian Federation three years ago after it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, and refuses to recognize Moscow's authority there. Western companies are now prohibited from doing business in Crimea.

Three companies, including Technopromexport, were also targeted by the new sanctions. "In order to use the USA gas it is necessary to construct big gas liquefaction plants in the United States, deliver gas to Europe and then utilize it in power grids", Alessandrello told Sputnik. The proposal for providing weapons to Ukraine comes amid tension between the White House and Congress over how to respond to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and an investigation by Special Counsel Robert Mueller into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia.

The additions contribute to the existing blacklist of 150 people and 37 firms subject to asset freezes and a travel ban to European countries.

On July 28, Moscow announced countermeasures in response to the U.S. sanctions bill and to the expulsion of 35 Russian diplomatic staff from the United States in late 2016.

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