EU targets Putin’s inner circle, scraps summit

British Prime Minister David Cameron walks by the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, March 20, 2014. The EU Commission president wants a two-day summit of European Union leaders to center on boosting the fledgling government in Kiev rather than focus exclusively on sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Eric Vidal)
British Prime Minister David Cameron walks by the media as he arrives for an EU summit in Brussels on Thursday, March 20, 2014. The EU Commission president wants a two-day summit of European Union leaders to center on boosting the fledgling government in Kiev rather than focus exclusively on sanctions against Russia over its annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea peninsula. (AP Photo/Eric Vidal)

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has slapped sanctions on 12 more people linked to Russia’s annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, bringing the number of people facing EU sanctions to 33.

The 28-nation bloc did not immediately release the names of those it had targeted Thursday with travel bans and asset freezes, but they are expected to close in on members of President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle to punish him in the escalating Ukrainian crisis.

Earlier in the day, the EU leaders also announced plans to scrap a scheduled EU-Russia summit in June as part of the intensifying standoff over Ukraine, which has turned into one of the biggest political crises in Europe since the Cold War.

 

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