Ukraine-Russia crisis: US sanctions Crimean separatists and Chernomorneftegaz gas firm
One of the billionaires said being singled out was an "honour"
The United States imposed sanctions on high-profile Crimean separatists and the Chernomorneftegaz gas company based in the region on Friday, as part of the third round of sanctions in an attempt to ease tensions in what has become the worst diplomatic crisis between East and West since the Cold War.
US officials said the move aimed to make it impossible for Russian firm Gazprom to deal with Chernomorneftegaz.
On April 1, Russia's energy minister said Gazprom would pay for the construction of an undersea gas pipeline to Crimea and would take part in a tender on the privatization of the local energy company.
“We are saying to the world, with some teeth, you are not going to invest in Crimea with impunity,” warned a US official.
It also makes way for the possibility of a harder line ahead of talks among US, Russian, Ukrainian and EU officials in Geneva on Wednesday.
Leaders will discuss Russia’s annexation of Crimea last month, when Moscow sent troops into the region on 18 March – angering Western powers who claim Russia has massed forces on its border with the intent to seize more of the country.
Read more: We can achieve the European dream by uniting its nations
Does EU involvement in Ukraine amount to colonialism?
As the prospect of the West invading Russia remains unlikely, its response has included economic sanctions, efforts to bolster the defenses of other European nations who fear Russia, and strong condemnation of Moscow's actions.
The news comes as pro-Russia activists continued their protests in eastern Ukraine. On Saturday the situation remained tense, as armed pro-Russia gunmen seized a police building in Slaviansk.
Additional reporting by Reuters
- 2 Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
- 3 Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
- 4 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 5 Hitler’s former food taster reveals the horrors of the Wolf’s Lair
Rihanna 'nude pictures' claims emerge on 4Chan as hacking scandal continues
Kim Kardashian 'nude photos' leaked on 4chan weeks after Jennifer Lawrence scandal
'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
Jennifer Lawrence: Leaked 4Chan sex video branded 'fake' by users
Jennifer Lawrence 'naked sex video' will be leaked next, threatens 4Chan celebrity photo hacker
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Scottish independence: David Cameron is becoming the 'George Bush of Britain'
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
£40000 - £45000 Per Annum + benefits: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Project...
£400 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Central Lon...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Head of Technology needed for a Outsta...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Maths teachers requir...