Poroshenko: EU's 'Azov' sanctions package to be expanded, strengthened if Russia continues to attack Ukrainian ships, obstruct freedom of navigation
President of Ukraine Petro Poroshenko has expressed gratitude to the European Union for the extension of sanctions against persons and organizations that undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine, as well as the introduction of the so-called "Azov" package of sanctions against eight Russians.
"Good news from Brussels! The EU Council has approved the extension of a large package of sanctions against more than 160 individuals and about 50 legal entities responsible for undermining the territorial integrity and independence of Ukraine, as well as creating an "Azov" sanctions package against Russia for an act of armed aggression in the Black Sea area and the gross violation of the freedom of navigation in the Kerch Strait," Poroshenko wrote on Facebook on Friday morning.
The president noted that he was "deeply grateful" to the partners of Ukraine for their solidarity with the Ukrainian people in these difficult times.
"This first list of names is only the beginning, and if Russia continues to attack Ukrainian ships, hinder freedom of navigation and block the Ukrainian Azov Sea area, the sanctions will be expanded and strengthened," Poroshenko wrote.
He added that he is in constant contact with the allies to maximize the price that the aggressor will pay for his crimes against Ukraine.
"Wait for new victories on the sanctions front soon," wrote Poroshenko.
Earlier on Friday, March 15, the European Union expanded the blacklists related to the situation in Ukraine and imposed restrictions on eight Russian nationals involved in the Kerch Strait incident of November 25, 2018.
Thus, eight Russian citizens were added in the EU sanctions list in connection with the attack on the ships of the Naval Forces of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in the Kerch Strait on November 25, 2018. The EU has blacklisted Southern Military District Commander Col. Gen. Alexander Dvornikov and head of the Federal Security Service's Border Directorate in Crimea and Sevastopol Sergei Stankevich.
The other blacklisted individuals are commanding officer of the Russian Navy's Suzdalets corvette Sergei Shcherbakov, head of the Federal Security Service's control point in Crimea and Sevastopol Sergei Romashkin, head of the Kerch branch of the Federal Security Service's control point in Crimea Alexei Shatokhin, Coast Guard commander and deputy head of the Federal Security Service's Border Directorate in Crimea and Sevastopol Andrei Shein, commanding officer of the ship Don Alexei Salyayev, and commanding officer of the ship Izumrud Andrei Shipitsyn.