The Council adopted today restrictive measures, within the framework of the existing sanctions, on two more individuals for their role in undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine and for benefitting from Russian decision-makers responsible for the illegal annexation of Crimea or the destabilisation of eastern Ukraine.
The persons designated today are the following businessmen:
Serhiy Vitaliyovich Kurchenko, a Ukrainian national, who among other actions, took control of several large metallurgical, chemical and energy plants in the separatist-held areas with support from pro-Russia separatists. Moreover, Serhiy Kurchenko strengthened the independent power supplies of the Crimean peninsula. He also owns the largest oil depot on the Crimean Peninsula.
Yevgeniy Viktorovich Prigozhin is a prominent Russian businessman with close ties to President Putin and the Russian Ministry of Defence. He is the founder and unofficial head of the Wagner Group, a Russia-based unincorporated military entity, responsible for the deployment of Wagner Group mercenaries in Ukraine. Some of his companies have been benefitting from large public contracts with the Russian Ministry of Defence following the illegal annexation of Crimea by Russia and occupation of eastern Ukraine by Russia-backed separatists.
The European Union does not recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea and of the city of Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn the Russian violation of international law. Moreover, the EU remains unwavering in its support for the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.
EU restrictive measures regarding the undermining of the territorial integrity of Ukraine now apply to a total of 1093 persons and 80 entities. Those designated persons and entities are subject to an asset freeze – including a prohibition on making funds available to them – and, additionally, those persons are subject to a travel ban, which prevents them from entering or transiting through the EU.
Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine grossly violates international law and is causing massive loss of life and injury to civilians. Russia is directing attacks against the civilian population and is targeting civilian objects, including hospitals, medical facilities, schools and shelters. These war crimes must stop immediately. Those responsible, and their accomplices, will be held to account in accordance with international law. The siege of Mariupol and other Ukrainian cities, and the denial of humanitarian access by Russian military forces are unacceptable. Russian forces must immediately provide for safe pathways to other parts of Ukraine, as well as humanitarian aid to be delivered to Mariupol and other besieged cities.
The European Council demands that Russia immediately stop its military aggression in the territory of Ukraine, immediately and unconditionally withdraw all forces and military equipment from the entire territory of Ukraine, and fully respect Ukraine’s territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence within its internationally recognised borders.
The relevant legal acts, including more details of the persons concerned, will be published in the Official Journal.