(Remark: The following text is a translation from Russian language. The translator Oksana Pooley underlined, several words in the text are typical Russian propaganda terms normally and daily used on Russian side.)
Switzerland joined the EU in its decision to widen sanctions against Russia, adding 28 new persons to its sanctions list, as the web site (сайте ) of the Federal Council of the country reports. The already active sanctions have been prolonged.
The names of the new persons on the sanctions list completely copy the list of the EU. There are 19 new last names and 9 organizations listed. Among them: Iosif Kobzon, member of the Russian Parliament (Gosduma) and representative of the “United Russia” party, two Deputy Ministers of Defense – Anatoliy Antonov and Arkadiy Bakhin. Furthermore, the sanctions apply to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Armed Forces, Andrey Kartapolov, as well as the First Vice-Speaker of the Russian Parliament, member of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation, Valeriy Rashkin.
The other persons affected by the new sanctions are officials of the self-declared Donetsk and Lugansk People’s Republics. Among them: Minister of Communications of DPR, Viktor Yatsenko, Deputy Minister of Defense of DPR Eduard Basurin, the commander of the “Somali” battalion, Mikhail Tolstykh (code name Givi), and the commander of the “Sparta battalion” Arseniy Pavlov (code name Motorolla).
The list of newly sanctioned organizations includes the Social Movement “Novorossiya”, as well as a number of subdivisions of the people’s militia: Cossack National Guard, battalions “Somali”, “Sparta”, “Zaria”, “Oplot”(infamous ultra-nationalist movement – trans. note), “Kalmius”, “Smert” (Death – trans. note), and brigade “Prizrak” (Ghost – trans. note).
The Council message emphasizes that Switzerland does not recognize the “annexation of Crimea by Russia and considers it a breach of international law”. “The Federal Council is closely watching the development of the events in Ukraine and does not exclude additional measures in case of necessity”, the message reads.
The declaration also emphasizes that the new measures have been taken in order to prevent the possibility of surpassing the latest sanctions implemented by the EU.
The EU authorities widened their sanctions against Russia on February 16, supplementing their sanctions list with 28 new entries. The measures include forbidding entry into the EU countries, arrest of assets.
This week, Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the United States Department of State, Victoria Nuland, during her speech before the United States Congress, said that Washington and Brussels are discussing the possibility of implementing a new package of sanctions against Russia. According to her words, the sanctions can be tightened in case of further violations of the Minsk agreements.