US, Canada sanction eight over Crimea involvement

2 min

Washington (AFP)

The United States and Canada on Wednesday announced sanctions against eight people and a railway company for violating Ukrainian sovereignty over their involvement in annexed Crimea.

Among those sanctioned was the prime minister of the "Republic of Crimea," senior officials in the city of Sevastopol, which is part of the strategic peninsula seized from Ukraine by Moscow in 2014, along with the operator of trains to the region from the Russian mainland and its CEO.

"Treasury's 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," US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement.

The European Union on Tuesday passed similar measures against seven of the officials, citing Russian local elections held in Crimea in September 2019.

The announcement brought the number of asset freezes and travel bans instituted by the bloc against parties it implicates in the annexation of Crimea and Russian involvement in the conflict in eastern Ukraine to 177 people and 44 "entities."

"The coordinated US, EU, and Canadian designations limit the ability of these illegitimate officials to do business internationally and highlights the strength of the transatlantic alliance in standing up to Russia's continued aggression," Mnuchin said.

The US sanctions freeze all property and interests in property belonging to the designated individuals and entities, and prohibit US persons from transacting with them.