Russia hit with fresh sanctions over Kerch Strait tension

The EU, US and Canada slapped on Friday new sanctions on more than a dozen Russian officials and businesses, citing Moscow's "continued aggression in Ukraine". Six Russian officials, six defence firms and two energy and construction firms were targeted, either over the seizure of Ukrainian vessels in the Kerch Strait, or for their activities in Russian-annexed Crimea or separatist eastern Ukraine.

Among them are Russian shipbuilding giant Zelenodolsk, the hydroacoustic equipment producer Okeanpribor, a diesel engine supplier to the Russian military, Zvezda, and an electronic parts supplier to the military, Fiolent.

"The US and our transatlantic partners will not allow Russia's continued aggression against Ukraine to go unchecked,” Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said. "This joint initiative with our partners in the European Union and Canada reinforces our shared commitment to impose targeted and meaningful sanctions in response to the Kremlin's attempts to disregard international norms and undermine Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity," he added.

The EU said its sanctions affected senior security service officials and military commanders accused of preventing Ukrainian ships from reaching port. Russia will not leave new EU sanctions unanswered, the foreign ministry was cited by the RIA news agency as saying in a statement on Saturday.

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