DONETSK, Ukraine, May 13 (UPI) -- The pro-Russian separatists in the Donetsk region of Ukraine imposed travel sanctions Tuesday on U.S. President Barack Obama and other western leaders.
Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, European Union Foreign Policy Chief Catherine Ashton, and British Prime Minister David Cameron have all been banned from the borders and the airspace of what the separatists call the Donetsk People's Republic.
In a document pictured on the Twitter account for the splinter group, Obama and Merkel are said to have been banned for "conniving with so-called acting 'President' of Ukraine Oleksandr Turchynov." They also took exception to the two leaders using the term "anti-terrorist" when referring to the operation executed by Kiev to dislodge the separatists from eastern Ukraine.
Постановлением Президиума ДНР запрещен въезд на территорию республики Обаме, Меркель, Эштон и Кэмерону (ФОТО) pic.twitter.com/MiZqLxknVj— Донецкая Республика (@dnrpress) May 13, 2014
Ashton was accused of giving freedom to neo-Nazi groups to act with "impunity," thereby causing the violence in the southwestern port city of Odessa. Cameron received a slight reprieve, as his name was added on a provisional basis; he was told to "think about his attitude towards Kiev junta, especially in the light of traditionally good relations between the Great Britain and Donbass."
Those "good relations" refer to the agreement between the Russian empire and British businessman John Hughes, who began a metal works in the region and founded the city of Donetsk in 1870.
The U.S. and the EU have imposed their own sanctions on Russian and Crimean government officials, whom they consider responsible for the annexation of Crimea as well as asset freezes and travel bans on oligarchs in Russian President Vladimir Putin's "inner circle."