The newly sanctioned includes Russian deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Kozak, first deputy Defense Minister Valery Gerasimov, and pro-Russian separatists in Ukraine, including the self-declared leader of the "Donetsk People's Republic," Denis Pushilin.
The 15 names were selected for sanctioning "for threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine," said Catherine Ashton, the EU's High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
Ashton spoke out Wednesday against recent unrest and destabilizing actions in eastern Ukraine.
"A number of people have been killed, wounded, tortured or kidnapped in the last few days. I notably condemn the shooting of Mayor of Kharkiv Henadiy Kernes yesterday and the detention of military observers from OSCE participating States in Slovyansk by armed separatists since last Friday. All persons still illegally detained by armed groups in Eastern Ukraine need to be immediately released. I am also concerned about continued attacks on journalists and the deterioration of media freedom environment in Eastern Ukraine, including the illegal seizure of TV transmission towers."
Such incidents undermine the Joint Geneva Statement on Ukraine that Russia and Ukraine agreed to and signed on April 17, Ashton charged.
Under the terms of the agreement, all parties agreed to cease violent and provocative actions, disband all illegal armed groups, and that all occupants of seized buildings must disarm and depart -- and will be granted amnesty.
While Ukraine has taken "concrete steps" to honor the agreement, Ashton pointed out that Russia must "take now concrete action in support of the Geneva accord."
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