BRUSSELS, BELGIUM - The European Union on Tuesday slapped sanctions on seven people accused of undermining Ukraine's sovereignty for their role in organizing Russian local elections in the Crimean Peninsula, annexed by Moscow in 2014.
The seven, who will see their assets frozen and face travel bans in Europe, include a top official in Crimea and senior electoral commission officers in the city of Sevastopol whom the EU blame for running the elections on Sept. 8.
"Through their involvement in the elections, these people actively supported actions and implemented policies which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,'' EU headquarters said in a statement.
The move means that 177 people and 44 "entities'' - organizations, associations or companies - are now under EU sanctions over allegations of undermining Ukraine's territorial integrity.
The EU imposed sanctions on Russia after it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and the bloc refuses to recognize Moscow's authority there. It has separate sanctions targeting the Russian economy which are due to remain in place until at least July 31.