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Russia FM criticizes EU, US sanctions over Ukraine

April 29, 2014

HAVANA (AP) — Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov on Tuesday rejected U.S. and European Union sanctions that seek to pressure Moscow over the crisis in Ukraine.

Speaking in Havana, where he met with Cuban counterpart Bruno Rodriguez, Lavrov criticized the penalties after the EU named 15 additional people subjected to sanctions earlier in the day.

“We reject the sanctions ... imposed by the United States and the European Union against all common sense, in relation to the events in Ukraine,” Lavrov said.

The EU announcement brings to 48 the number of Russians or pro-Russian individuals in Ukraine targeted by the European bloc for sanctions. Any accounts or assets they hold in EU countries will be frozen, and they are barred from travel to the bloc’s member states.

Washington has also expanded its own sanctions to include seven Russian government officials and 17 companies with links to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Cuban Communist Party newspaper Granma said the purpose of Lavrov’s visit was to strengthen accords between the two countries. He met with President Raul Castro later to discuss bilateral cooperation.

Cuba is the first stop on a Latin American trip that will also take Lavrov to Nicaragua, Chile and Peru.

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