EU extends Russia sanctions over Crimea
The European Union added three people and three companies to its list of sanctions over Russia's "illegal annexation" of Ukraine's Crimea region. The move follows the transfer of gas turbines to the area.
"Establishing an independent power supply for Crimea and Sevastapol supports their separation from Ukraine and undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," the European Council, which defines the EU's overall political direction and priorities, said in a statement.
Gas turbines are a "substantial element" in the development of new power plants, the council said. They were originally sold by Munich-headquartered Siemens for use in Russia. The sanctions, consisting of an asset freeze and travel ban, now apply to 153 people and 40 entities, the council said.
The EU measures began in 2014 after Crimea was incorporated into the Russian Federation following a referendum in the territory. They were extended in March and will run until September 15.
Ukraine is battling Russia-backed separatist groups in the east of the country who have seized control and started to declare their independence.
(Alistair Holloway, email@example.com, +352 49 93 739)