EU Prolongs Sanctions Against Scores for Undermining Ukraine

Russia-backed separatists war prisoners, left, wearing masks to protect against coronavirus walk during a prisoner exchange, in Donetsk region, eastern Ukraine, on April 16, 2020. Ukrainian forces and Russia-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine began exchanging prisoners this spring in a move aimed at ending their five-year long war. (Ukrainian Presidential Press Office via AP)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union on Thursday extended for six months its sanctions against scores of people and organizations accused of undermining the territorial integrity of Ukraine.

EU headquarters said in a statement that the travel bans and asset freezes on 175 people and 44 “entities,” which are usually companies, banks, associations or other organizations, will be prolonged until March 15.

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014, and refuses to recognize Moscow’s authority there. The bloc has separate sanctions targeting the Russian economy and other restrictive measures linked to the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol.

Those targeted in Thursday’s decision for continuing “to undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine” include several politicians in Crimea and Sevastopol, and Russian officials accused of supporting the decision to deploy troops to Ukraine or their actions there.

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