The European Union has imposed sanctions on a top aide to President Vladimir Putin and the commander of Russian paratroopers as well as two confiscated Crimean energy companies, raising pressure on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine.
Putin's first deputy chief of staff, Vyacheslav Volodin, and Vladimir Shamanov, the commander of Russian airborne troops that took part in Russia's occupation of Ukraine's Crimea region in March, were among 13 people added to the EU's sanctions list released Monday.
Volodin, a wealthy former lawyer and veteran political strategist, is already on the U.S. sanctions list.
The latest additions bring to 61 the number of Russians and Ukrainians the EU has targeted with asset freezes and visa bans.
For the first time, the EU's latest sanctions list included two companies after EU foreign ministers agreed on Monday to broaden the scope of sanctions, making it easier to freeze the assets of companies involved in the Ukraine crisis.
The companies are a Crimea-based gas company, Chernomorneftegaz, and a Crimean oil supply company, Feodosia.
The EU said both companies had been effectively confiscated by the new authorities in Crimea following the Russian takeover.
The U.S. had already imposed sanctions on Chernomorneftegaz on April 11, effectively putting it off limits to Russia's state-controlled energy giant Gazprom, which was expected to bid for a stake in the company.
U.S. officials said at the time that Washington's move aimed to make it impossible for Gazprom to have dealings with Chernomorneftegaz.
For now, EU sanctions are limited to firms or other organizations linked to Russia's annexation of Crimea, and the EU will not target high-profile firms such as Gazprom.
Also on the EU's new list of people facing asset freezes and visa bans were several pro-Russian separatist leaders in eastern Ukraine, including Vyacheslav Ponomaryov, the rebel mayor of Slovyansk who said earlier Monday that his eastern region needed Russian troops to provide stability.
Roman Lyagin, the head of the electoral commission in Donetsk region, and Alexander Malykhin, head of a local election committee in Luhansk were also included on the list. Both were involved in organizing self-rule referendums in their areas on Sunday that the EU has called illegal.
Natalia Poklonskaya, the Crimean Prosecutor who gained global recognition in March when pictures of her redrawn as an anime character appeared online, is also named on the list.