The sanctions now apply to a total of 177 individuals and 48 entities / REUTERS

The European Union has expanded the list of individuals and legal entities subject to sanctions for the construction of the Kerch Bridge in Russia-occupied Crimea.

This was announced on the European Council's website.

Read alsoRussia shuts down Kerch ferry service, earlier used to deploy troops in annexed Crimea

In particular, the Council on October 1 added two individuals and four entities to the list of those individuals and entities subject to restrictive measures in respect of actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

"These measures were adopted in the light of the role played by these people and entities in the construction of the bridge and railway tracks linking Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula via the Kerch Strait, and further isolating Crimea from Ukraine," the announcement said.

The sanctions, which now apply to a total of 177 individuals and 48 entities, include a travel ban and an asset freeze. The travel ban prevents the entry into or transit through the territory of the European Union of the persons listed, while the asset freeze concerns the funds or economic resources of both listed persons and entities. In addition, EU citizens and companies are forbidden from making funds available to those listed persons.

The relevant legal acts, including the names of the persons and entities concerned, have been published in the Official Journal.

In particular, the sanctions were introduced against General Director of JSC TC Grand Service Express railway carrier Alexander Ganov and Deputy General Director for Infrastructure Projects at Stroygazmontazh, also spelled as Stroigazmontazh, (SGM) construction firm Leonid Ryzhenkin.

Also, the restrictive measures were applied against such organizations as: JSC LenPromTransProyekt, JSC Berkakit-Tommot-Yakutsk Railway Line's Construction Directorate, Federal State Unitary Enterprise "Crimean Railway," and Crimean First Insurance Company.

  • Background

  • The European Union does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation, and continues to condemn the Russian violation of international law. Moreover, the EU remains unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
  • Individual restrictive measures were first applied on March 17, 2014, in response to the unprovoked actions deliberately undermining and destabilizing the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy and restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol.
  • The list of sanctioned persons and entities are kept under constant review and are subject to periodic renewals by the Council.

Kerch Bridge project

  • On March 7, Russia launched a train service across the Crimean Bridge to connect the occupied peninsula with the Russian Federation's Krasnodar Krai.
  • Automobile traffic across the bridge between Russia and Crimea was opened in May 2018, which was followed by the launch of a freight transport service.
  • The opening of the Kerch Bridge is considered by most Russians to be the milestone event of 2018.
  • Earlier, it was reported that the Kerch Bridge, illegally built by Russia in annexed Crimea, started to change its position.