The European Union (EU) on Thursday (local time) adopted its latest package of sanctions against Russia over the illegal annexation of Ukraine's Donetsk, Luhansk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson regions.
The EU adopted restrictive measures against an additional 30 individuals and 7 entities, read the EU's statement.
"The Council decided today to impose restrictive measures on an additional 30 individuals and 7 entities in view of Russia's escalating military aggression against Ukraine and other actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," it added.
In addition, the Council decided to broaden the listing criteria on which specific designations can be based, in order to include the possibility of targeting those who facilitate the circumvention of EU sanctions.
"The Council considers that facilitating infringements of the prohibition against circumvention of certain EU restrictive measures is likely to contribute to destabilising Ukraine or undermining its territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence," added the statement.
The 7 sanctioned entities included defence companies providing weapons or fighter aircraft to the Russian Armed Forces, the Central Election Commission (CEC) of the Russian Federation, which is responsible for organising elections and referenda, and JSC Goznak, a Russian state-owned joint-stock company responsible for the manufacturing of security products.
"In direct response to the latest Russian escalation of its aggression against Ukraine and the blatant violation of the UN Charter, we are sanctioning additional individuals and entities who are supporting, facilitating or benefiting from Russia's illegal actions. This includes those who organised these sham "referenda", high-ranking officials in the Russian Ministry of Defence and prominent propaganda figures spreading disinformation. Our steadfast support of Ukraine, the Principles of the UN Charter, and international law will continue. We again call on Russia to end its devastating and senseless aggression," said Josep Borrell, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Some of the individuals designated today have played a role in the organisation of the illegal sham 'referenda' held in parts of the Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia regions of Ukraine, and their illegal annexation.
Others are representatives of the defence sector, like the largest shareholder of arms producer JSC Kalashnikov Concern, Alan Lushnikov and the former and current Deputy Ministers of Defence of the Russian Federation.
Lastly, the list includes individuals who are part of the Kremlin's disinformation and information manipulation ecosystem, and who contribute to spreading disinformation about the war, such as the Russian political scientist Aleksander Dugin and singers Yulia Chicherina and Nikolay Rastorguev, read the statement.
Altogether, EU restrictive measures now apply to 1236 individuals and 115 entities. Those designated are subject to an asset freeze and EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to them. Natural persons are additionally subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through EU territories.