U.S., EU hit individuals involved in Crimea referendum with sanctions

By Kyle Johnson,

The U.S. and European Union have repeatedly warned Russia and Crimea that they would not recognize the results of the Crimea referendum and said they would respond with sanctions, and on Monday they did just that.

The EU released a list of people who are being hit with sanctions and the reasons why they were. Among those on the list include acting Crimean Prime Minister Sergey Akayonov as he "actively lobbied" for the Sunday referendum. In all, there are 21 individuals the EU specifically chose to hit with visa and financial sanctions.

According to BBC News, EU foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton told reporters, "We regret that Russia has so far not engaged in negotiations with Ukraine." The list is not "set in stone," according to UK Foreign Secretary William Hague.

Meanwhile, the U.S. has a total of 11 individuals that will face sanctions, including four Crimea separatist leaders and seven Russian officials. The White House released a statement noting that Russia's continued interference over Crimea has violated "the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine" specifically in regards to backing the Sunday vote where 97 percent of those who voted supported joining Russia.

Among the sanctions that the individuals will see include asset freezes and travel bans.

As previously reported, after the Crimean referendum, the U.S. announced that it would not recognize the vote, nor would most of the West.

With the referendum passed, Ukraine no longer has power over Crimea and their laws have become null and void. Despite Kiev's refusal to acknowledge the results of the referendum, the current acting power in Crimea has become the State Council of the Republic of Crimea, which was previously the Council of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea.

image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

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