EU formally blacklists Putin cronies

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The EU has formally adopted fresh sanctions against Russia.

It follows a decision by EU ambassadors on Tuesday.

The bloc made the move over Russia’s alleged actions in eastern Ukraine, and its annexation of Crimea.

The new measures will make it more difficult for Russian state-owned banks to raise funds in capital markets.

Member states also slapped sanctions on entire sectors of the Russian economy, including energy and defence.

But they also struck closer to Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle., issuing travel bans and asset freezes to three oligarchs.

The most high profile target was Arkady Rotenberg, a long-time friend and former judo sparring partner of Mr Putin.

He runs a construction company that has a track record of winning major public works projects.

Officials cited a deal to build a bridge between Russia and the annexed territory of Crimea.

The EU is also targeting major companies.

As part of the sanctions on the defence industry, it will target arms producer Almaz-Antey, which makes surface-to-air missiles.

It will sanction the airline Dobrolyot,
which operates flights between Moscow and Crimea.

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