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EU Freezes Assets and Bans Travel by Top Russian Spies

Among the 15 people added to the EU's travel ban were the head of the Federal Security Service and its international operations chief.

The European Union on Friday extended its Ukraine-related sanctions to target top Russian intelligence officials and leaders of the pro-Russia revolt in eastern Ukraine, official documents showed. Among the 15 new people subjected to an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban were Alexander Bortnikov, head of the Russian Federal Security Service, and Sergei Beseda, head of the FSB department that oversees international operations and intelligence activity. Four members of Russia's Security Council were also included.

The new measures were announced in the EU's Official Journal, and took effect immediately. Eighteen organizations or businesses, including rebel formations in Ukraine's east, also were added to the EU sanctions list. There are now 87 people under EU sanction in connection with Russia's annexation of Crimea and the revolt in eastern Ukraine. Two Crimea-based energy businesses had already had their EU holdings frozen. Earlier Friday, EU ambassadors reached a preliminary deal to go even further in sanctioning Russia, targeting its access to European capital markets and trade in the defense sector, dual-use goods and sensitive technologies.


— The Associated Press