EU expands Russia sanctions to include companies involved in Crimea bridge
The EU today expanded its sanctions against Moscow to include companies that helped build a bridge from mainland Russia to Kremlin-annexed Crimea, which it says violates Ukraine's sovereignty.
"Through their actions, they supported the consolidation of Russia's control over the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula," they added.
This, it said, "in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty, and independence of Ukraine."
Two of the six firms and organizations identified in the EU's Official Journal are controlled by businessman Arkady Rotenberg, a close Putin ally.
Another 155 people, including several close to Putin, have also seen asset freezes and travel bans as a result of the EU blacklist.
The EU says it continues to refuse to recognize the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia, which was condemned by the pro-western government in Kiev as well as the United States and the EU, who see it as an illegal land grab.
The peninsula had been hard to reach from southern Russia with long queues of vehicles often forming to board ferries, which cannot always run in winter storms, so the easiest way across is to fly.
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