EU expands sanction list amid Ukraine crisis European Union hits senior officials of Russian intelligence service with economic and travel ban sanctions



BRUSSELS (AA) – The European Union has expanded its sanction list amid the Ukraine crisis by adding 18 companies and 15 individuals including senior officials from Russian intelligence service and a Chechen leader.

The sanctions come after Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, en route to Kuala Lumpur from Amsterdam, was shot down last week near Hrabove in Donetsk, Ukraine – about 40 kilometers from the Ukrainian-Russian border, killing all 298 people – 283 passengers and 15 crew members on board.

Ramzan Kadyrov, head of the Chechen Republic; Alexander Bortnikov, director of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation (FSB); Mikhail Fradkov, head of Russia’s foreign intelligence service and Sergei Besad, a senior official of the FSB, are now on the EU’s sanction list.

The sanctions, which were published in the EU’s Official Journal and went into effect immediately, impose an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban.

The 15-person list also consists of Pro-Russian leaders in eastern Ukraine of the self proclaimed Donetsk People’s Republic, Lugansk People’s Republic and Federal State of Novorossiya.

The number of the companies increased to nine, according to the EU document.

Many people, especially in the United States, appear to believe widespread mainstream media reports that the plane was downed by a surface-to-air missile, launched from an area controlled by Russian-backed separatists inside Ukraine.

At least 87 people are under EU sanctions after Russia’s annexation in Crimea and violence in eastern Ukraine.

Canada also announced on Friday economic and travel ban sanctions against Russian entities and Ukrainian rebels as a result of the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine.

At least 500 people have been killed since pro-Russian separatists in the eastern part of Ukraine declared their intention to break away from Ukraine.

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