Politics

US Issues Fresh Sanctions Over Ukraines Crimea: Treasury

WASHINGTON–The United States on Wednesday, Jan. 29 issued a fresh round of sanctions related to Russias annexation of Crimea, targeting eight individuals and a Moscow-based railway company, the U.S. Treasury Department said.

The United States has imposed a series of sanctions in response to Russias annexation of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014. Moscow has since built up military infrastructure on the peninsula.

The latest move comes a day before a visit to Ukraine by U.S. Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo.

The officials blacklisted on Wednesday include Yuri Gotsanyuk, so-called prime minister of Crimeas pro-Russian regional government after the 2019 election, and six others, a Treasury statement said.

Five of the sanctioned individuals are named high-level officials of Sevastopol, including a so-called member of the parliament of the Russian Federation representing Sevastopol, says the Treasury statement.

After the fall of the Soviet Union, Ukraine signed a treaty with Russia in 1997 that allowed Russia to keep its Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol for 20 years. A term later extended until 2042.

Also blacklisted is Moscow-based railway company Grand Service Express, which operates in the Crimea region, and its Chief Executive Officer Alexander Ganov.

Grand Service Express is a privately owned Russian railway company and started offering passenger services connecting Crimea with Russia over Kerch Strait Bridge in December 2019. The Kerch Strait, which separates mainland Russia from Crimea, is the only outlet from the Azov Sea to the Back Sea.

The U.S. sanctions block assets of these persons and the railway company and prohibit U.S. individuals and businesses from conducting transactions with those targeted. Also, foreign persons who engage in transactions with them may face sanctions.

Epoch Times Photo
Epoch Times Photo
Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin answers questions from the press after an interview on CNBC on the North Lawn of the White House in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 12, 2019. (Sarah Silbiger/Reuters)

“Treasurys action, taken in close coordination with our international allies and partners, reiterates our unwavering support for restoring free and fair democratic political processes in Crimea,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in the statement. These actions demonstrate “the strength of the transatlantic alliance in standing up to Russias continued aggression,” Mnuchin said.

In 2014 Russian forces invaded the Crimea peninsula, and after that held a controversial local referendum in which “Crimeans voted to join the Russian Federation,” according to the Council of Foreign Relations. The referendum was called illegal by the United Nations General Assembly. However, Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula despite criticism.

Treasury said the individuals sanctioned were also blacklisted by Canada on Wednesday, “as part of coordinated action in a strong demonstration of Read More – Source