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US Clamps Down on Crimean Officials
April 13, 2014 17:46


Photo Credit: http://www.cityam.com
The US has moved ahead with additional sanctions against Crimean officials, targeting individuals and the region’s oil and gas company. The U.S. Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) has put on its black list the following leaders: Pyotr Zima, Aleksey Chaly, Rustam Temirgaliev, Yury Zherebtsov, Mikhail Malyshev, Valery Medvedev, Sergey Tsekov, and Crimea-based gas company Chernomorneftegaz.
 
Pursuant to Executive Order 13660, these “separatist leaders” and “this entity are being sanctioned for being responsible for or complicit in, or having engaged in, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine, or misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine; or having asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the government of Ukraine”, reads the document on the official website.
 
In line with the official Washington rhetoric, Under Secretary for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence David S. Cohen declared Crimea “occupied territory”. “We will continue to impose costs on those involved in ongoing violations of Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity,” he said.
 
The document lists the reasons for introducing visa bans and asset freezes on the officials involved (as published by http://iipdigital.usembassy.gov):
 
Pyotr Zima was appointed as de facto head of the Security Service of Ukraine's main directorate in Crimea by the presidium of the Crimean parliament in March 2014. Zima was subsequently dismissed from his duties by interim Ukrainian President Oleksandr Turchynov for taking an oath of loyalty to the new Crimean authorities, and the Prosecutor-General's Office of Ukraine received permission from a Ukrainian district court to detain Zima for colluding with Sergei Aksenov and Vladimir Konstantinov to commit crimes under Article 109 Part 1 of the Ukrainian Criminal Code. Aksenov and Konstantinov were designated on March 17, 2014 pursuant to E.O. 13660. Zima is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 because he has asserted governmental authority over a part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the Government of Ukraine.
 
Aleksei Chaliy is the de facto Chairman of the Coordinating Council for the establishment of the Sevastopol municipal administration, and signed the March 16, 2014 agreement between the Russian Federation and the “Republic of Crimea” to unite Crimea and the city of Sevastopol with Russia. Chaliy is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 because he has asserted governmental authority over any part or region of Ukraine without the authorization of the government of Ukraine; and because he is responsible for or complicit in, or has engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
 
As de facto Deputy Chairman of the Council of Ministers of Crimea, Rustam Temirgaliev ran the unauthorized March 16, 2014 referendum in Crimea.
 
As de facto counselor to the Speaker of the Crimean parliament, the Rada, Yuriy Zherebtsov was one of the main organizers of the unauthorized March 16 referendum in Crimea, which paved the way for Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. On March 9, 2014, Zherebtsov signed a letter on behalf of the authorities of "the Autonomous Republic of Crimea" requesting the commander of the military base in Yevpatoria, Crimea to disarm his troops and surrender the base to the Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Federation.
 
Mikhail Malyshevis the de facto Chair of the Crimea Electoral Commission, which administered the unauthorized March 16, 2014 referendum in Crimea.
 
Valery Medvedevis the de facto Chair of the Sevastopol Electoral Commission, which administered the unauthorized March 16, 2014 referendum for the city of Sevastopol.
Temirgaliev, Zherebtsov, Malyshev, and Medvedev are being designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 because they are responsible for or complicit in, or have engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine. Zherebtsov is also being designated because he is responsible for or complicit in, or has engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that undermine democratic processes or institutions in Ukraine.
 
Former Ukrainian Official
Sergey Tsekovwas the Vice Speaker of Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and was responsible for facilitating the unauthorized referendum that paved the way for Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea. Tsekov is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 because he is responsible for or complicit in, or has engaged in, directly or indirectly, actions or policies that threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine.
 
Crimean Entity
On March 18, 2014 the Crimean parliament passed a resolution to seize the Crimean assets of a subsidiary of a Ukrainian state-owned gas company which has drilling rigs off Crimea's west coast and in the Sea of Azov. The assets were transferred to an entity with the same name, Chernomorneftegaz, and same address. The parliament's resolution said the takeover would include ownership of the region's “continental shelf and the exclusive (maritime) economic zone.” Chernomorneftegaz is being designated pursuant to E.O. 13660 because it is complicit in the misappropriation of state assets of Ukraine or of an economically significant entity in Ukraine.
 

As a result of Treasury's action, any assets of the persons designated today that are within U.S. jurisdiction must be frozen. Additionally, transactions by U.S. persons or with the United States involving these individuals and entity are generally prohibited. 




Author: Mikhail Vesely

Tags: Ukraine crisis Crimea US sanctions   

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