UPDATE3: EU sanctions six Russian firms over bridge to Crimea
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BRUSSELS/SIMFEROPOL, Crimea/KIEV/MOSCOW, Jul 31 (PRIME) -- The E.U. Council has added six Russian companies to the sanctions list over construction of a bridge across the Kerch Strait, the E.U. said in a corporate magazine on Tuesday.
The entities include Institute Giprostroymost, Mostotrest, Zaliv Shipyard, Stroygazmontazh Corporation, Stroygazmontazh Most, and VAD.
УThey are listed because of their involvement in the construction of the Kerch Bridge, connecting Russia to the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula. Through their actions they supported the consolidation of RussiaТs control over the illegally annexed Crimean peninsula, which in turn further undermines the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine,Ф the E.U. said.
The measures consist of an asset freeze, meaning that all of the assets in the E.U. belonging to these entities are frozen and E.U. persons and entities cannot make any funds available to them.
The decision brings the total number of entities listed by the E.U. to 44.
UkraineТs Ministry for Temporarily Occupied Territories and Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) has sent proposals to the government to introduce sanctions against 19 Russian companies and 22 individuals connected with construction of the Crimean bridge.
Businessman Arkady Rotenberg, who controls Mostotrest and Stroygazmontazh, said he was proud of his companiesТ work to build the bridge.
УOur task is to build a bridge. The automobile bridge has already been launched, and people are driving over it. And now we are building the rail one. We are all proud of our work, and if someone does not like it, this is not our problem,Ф Rotenberg told PRIME via his representative.
Traffic on the automobile section of the bridge was launched in May, while railroad traffic is projected to be launched in December 2019.
A spokesperson for the Crimean BridgeТs information center said the new E.U. sanctions will not affect the implementation of projects in Crimea.
Anastasia Gurina, press secretary of CrimeaТs state road committee, said that sanctions against VAD will not affect the terms of the Tavrida highway construction.
УWe know about general contractor of the Tavrida highway being included in the E.U. sanctions list. This will have no impact on the implementation of projects. All contracts with VAD will be fulfilled to a good quality and on schedule,Ф she said.
The 250.7-kilometer Tavrida highway will connect Kerch with Simferopol and Sevastopol. The first stage of the project is expected to be completed by the end of 2018 and the second one by the end of 2020.
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