The European Union has officially imposed the sanctions against the citizens of Russia involved in the capture of the Ukrainian sailors near Kerch Strait in November 2018 as Radio Liberty reported.
Today, on March 15, it was officially announced about the freeze of the accounts and ban for the issuance of the visa to eight Russian officials. Their names were put on the list of persons and entities involved in the violation of the territorial integrity of Ukraine, which was extended for another six months. Thus, the list consists of 44 entities and 171 persons.
It is specified that any of eight people put on the list does not occupy a high position. Thus, the sanctions were imposed against Head of “Border Unit of Crimean and Sevastopol FSB Rear Admiral Sergey Stankevich, his deputy Andrey Shein, Commander of troops of Southern Military district Alexandr Dvornikov, commanders Alexey Salaev and Andrey Shipitsyn, participating in the seizure of the vessels, commander of anti-submarine warfare ship Suzdalets Sergey Shcherbakov and two heads of the FSB control points Ruslan Romashkin and Alexey Shatokhin.
It is reported that Deputy Head of Border Guard Service of Russia Gennady Medvedev had to be also on the list; however, Finland blocked it. Permanent Representative’s Office of Finland to the EU refused to comment it, stating, they “do not comment individual positions of any state-members, including their own”.
President Petro Poroshenko thanked the European partners for the solidarity.
“I am grateful to our partners for the solidarity with the Ukrainian people in such hard times. Wait for new victories at the sanctions front,” he stated.
On November 25, the coast guard ships of the Russian Navy attacked the ships of the Ukrainian Navy, which have been carrying out a scheduled transition from Odesa port to Mariupol port in the Sea of Azov. Ukrainian ships were rejected passage via the Kerch Strait, Russian coast guards opened aimed fire on them.
All 24 sailors on board were captured and delivered to Moscow – 21 of them were delivered to Lefortovo remand center, another - to the hospital of Matrosskaya Tishina prison.
On December 3, the Russian prosecutors officially accused Ukrainian sailors with the 'illegal crossing of the state border' during the attack in the Kerch Strait.
Facing an extension of the sentence term, Ukrainian POWs detained in the Kerch Strait refused to testify in Lefortovo court. Sailors were distributed into six groups, four people in each. On January 15, 2019, Moscow's Lefortovo district court decided to keep 20 Ukrainian sailors in remand until April 24. On January 16, the court extended the detention term for another 4 sailors.
As we reported, lawyer Nikolai Polozov, who deals with the defense of Ukrainian prisoners of war, confirmed that three Ukrainian sailors wounded in the Russian Navy attack on Ukrainian ships were brought from Matrosskaya Tishina to Lefortovo prison in Moscow. He also added that it happened on Monday, January 28.