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EU Renews Sanctions On Russian Officials, Ukrainian Separatists

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is one of the Russian officials who will remain under EU sanctions. (file photo)

BRUSSELS -- European Union ambassadors have prolonged the asset freezes and visa bans on 150 Russian officials and Moscow-backed Ukrainian separatists for another six months, EU diplomats told RFE/RL. The measure was also rolled over for 38 entities on the sanctions list.

The diplomats, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they are not authorized to speak on the record, said the measures would be formally adopted in the coming days.

Asset freezes and visa bans were first imposed by the EU on people responsible for actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity in March 2014, after Russia occupied and seized control of Crimea. Those sanctions have been extended every six months.

The EU diplomats said that Russia's new ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, remains on the EU sanctions list.

The Russians under EU sanctions also include Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, Armed Forces General Staff chief Valery Gerasimov, and state TV presenter Dmitry Kiselyov.

The entity list is dominated by Russia-backed battalions operating in eastern Ukraine and Crimea as well as companies from the Ukrainian peninsula, which was annexed by Moscow in 2014.

The EU's economic sanctions against Russia, which mainly apply to the country's energy and banking sector, are up for renewal in July but a decision is expected when EU leaders meet in Brussels in late June.

The same month the EU officials are also expected to revisit the bloc's investment ban on Crimea.