[JURIST] The European Union (EU) [official website] on Friday imposed [BBC report] new sanctions against 11 senior Russian politicians, including Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin. The EU imposed the sanctions on the same day Russian President Vladimir Putin [official website; JURIST news archive] finalized legislation making Crimea officially part of Russia. Earlier last week, the EU announced restrictions against 21 individuals in Russia and Ukraine, and the US ordered similar sanctions against 11 individuals. EU leaders have prepared further economic sanctions in the event Russia expands its intervention beyond Crimea into eastern Ukraine. European Council President Herman Van Rompuy [official website] called Russia’s annexation of Crimea “a clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and of international law” and Van Rompuy said that the 28-nation bloc will cancel an EU-Russia summit in June.
The ongoing conflict [BBC timeline] in Ukraine has reinvigorated fears of Cold War Era politics and increased tension between Russia and the West. The conflict in Ukraine followed a number of protests [JURIST podcast] over the suspension of negotiations on a long-expected trade deal between Ukraine and the EU. Last Friday, President Putin finalized [JURIST report] the annexation of Crimea. On Thursday, the Russian State Duma [official website, in Russian] voted nearly unanimously to approve Russia’s annexation of Crimea despite threats of further sanctions from Western powers. Also last week Putin and representatives of Crimea signed a treaty [JURIST report] to incorporate Crimea into the Russian Federation. Earlier in March, US President Barack Obama condemned [JURIST report] Russia’s military intervention in the region as a violation of international law.