Kremlin says new European Union sanctions in direct violation of worldwide law


"Brussels" decision to add some Russian officials and companies to the European Union sanctions list in response to allegedly "illegal' supply of Siemens-produced gas turbines to Crimea is disconcerting", the statement says.

"The responsibility for this decision, including possible expenses for Siemens and other German and European companies working in Russian Federation, lies entirely with the EU's side and the German government", the ministry's statement further read.

But Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said he was "grateful" to the EU, calling the sanctions a "powerful message to the aggressor about unwavering unity and solidarity among the capitals of the European Union".

The EU's stance against Russian interference in Ukraine began in 2014 when Moscow led a campaign to annex Crimea.

The Kremlin has censured a recent decision by the European Union to broaden the scope of its anti-Moscow sanctions list over Russia's delivery of Siemens gas turbines to Crimea, saying the provocative move was "against the worldwide law".

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Moscow criticized the EU's decision as an unfriendly and groundless act and said it reserved the right to take retaliatory steps.

EU's 28 states must be unanimous to go ahead with sanctions and diplomatic sources said Italy's opposition meant a fourth name had to be dropped from the initial German proposal.

"The main goal of the sanctions is to turn Russian and European companies against each other and to deprive Europe of a choice in energy sector and to force it to import United States gas".

The EU decision to sanction the two Russian officials is puzzling and based exclusively on political considerations, said the Russian statement. The Italian representation in Brussels did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The EU measures involve a freeze on their assets and travel bans.