US, EU impose sanctions over Crimea vote

President Barack Obama has moved to impose sanction against Russian officials the U.S. sees as implicated in Sunday’s Moscow-backed Crimea referendum on the peninsula’s secession from Ukraine.

Obama’s order applies to 11 Russian and Ukrainian officials, including two top advisers to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, in addition to ousted Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych.

Separately, European Union foreign ministers have agreed to impose sanctions including travel bans and asset freezes on 21 officals from Russia and Ukraine, Lithuania’s foreign minister said on Monday.

After a meeting lasting around three hours, the EU’s 28 foreign ministers quickly reached agreement on the list of those to be sanctioned for their part in Russia’s seizure of Crimea and Sunday’s referendum to secede from Ukraine and join Russia.

The EU Foreign Affairs Council just agreed on sanctions – travel restrictions & assets freezes against 21 officials from Ukraine & Russia, Linan Linkevicius wrote in a message on Twitter.

He added that more measures would follow in a few days, when EU leaders meet for a summit in Brussels. They are expected to expand the list to include more senior figures closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier Monday, Crimea’s regional assembly declared independence from Ukraine and applied to become part of Russia, a day after a controversial referendum in Crimea overwhelmingly supported joining the Russian Federation.

A delegation of Crimean lawmakers is set to travel to Moscow Monday to discuss additional procedures required to become part of the Federation.

Meanwhile, Ukraine’s parliament endorsed on Monday a plan to mobilise 40,000 reservists to counter Russia’s “blatant aggression” in Crimea. Some 20,000 of the country’s national gaurds have also been mobilized.



(Photo: Sébastien Bertrand)