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U.S. Sanctions Russian Duma's Crimean Deputies

The United States has placed six of Crimea's Duma deputies under international sanctions, the U.S. Treasury has confirmed.

Dmitry Belik, Andrey Kozenko, Konstantin Bakharev, Svetlana Savchenko, Ruslan Balbek and Pavel Shperov represent the peninsula in Russia's lower house of parliament.

The sanctions block the politicians' assets in the United States, and bans U.S. companies from entering into business deals with them.

The six officials were found to be complicit in making policies which “threaten the peace, security, stability, sovereignty, or territorial integrity of Ukraine,” the U.S. Treasury said.

“The United States does not recognize the illegitimate elections to the Russian State Duma that took place in Crimea,” said John E. Smith, Acting OFAC Director, in a statement on the U.S. Treasury website. “The Treasury will continue to sanction those individuals involved in Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its destabilizing activities in Ukraine.”

The State Duma elections on Sunday, Sept. 18, saw a landslide victory for the ruling United Russia party, who now hold a super-majority in Russia's lower house of parliament. United Russia secured 53.78 percent of the vote in the Crimean city of Sevastopol and 68.58 percent in the region's capital of Simferopol. 

A number of nations, including Poland, Lithuania and Turkey, have announced their refusal to recognize the Crimean elections, while Ukraine refuses to recognize the State Duma in its entirety. 

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