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EU Widens Blacklist to Protest Russia’s Ukraine Moves

European Union governments added 15 names to the list of people sanctioned to protest Russia’s backing of separatists in eastern Ukraine and its refusal to pull troops away from the border.

The EU imposed a travel ban and an asset freeze on “15 additional persons responsible for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,” the 28-nation bloc said in an e-mailed statement today in Brussels. The identities of the targeted individuals are due to be disclosed in the EU Official Journal tomorrow, when the decision will take effect.

EU governments have struggled to respond to Russia’s intimidation of Ukraine, opting for penalties on select allies of President Vladimir Putin while clashing over whether to impose broader economic sanctions.

The U.S., its economy less intertwined with Russia’s, has gone further with penalties. Today it announced sanctions on seven more people and 17 companies associated with Putin, also limiting the sale of high-tech defense equipment to Russia.

Before today’s decision, the EU had blacklisted 55 people it accused of destabilizing Ukraine. That number is made up of 22 Ukrainians facing asset freezes, 25 Russians and eight Crimeans facing asset freezes and travel bans.

Preparations are “very advanced” for “stage three” measures that would affect broader sectors of the Russian economy, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic told reporters in Brussels earlier today.

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