Specifically, this action targets individuals and entities playing a role in Russia’s unjustified attacks on Ukrainian naval vessels in the Kerch Strait, the purported annexation of Crimea, and backing of illegitimate separatist government elections in eastern Ukraine, as the US Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) reports.

In addition, these actions follow sanctions also taken by the EU and Canada, and underscore the strength and commitment of the transatlantic partnership to counter Russia’s continued destabilizing behaviour and malign activities.

The United States and our transatlantic partners will not allow Russia’s continued aggression against Ukraine to go unchecked.

... Treasury Secretary Steven T. Mnuchin commented.

The sanctions aim six Russian defence companies operating in Crimea, some of which misappropriated Ukrainian state assets to provide services to the Russian military. This is in addition to sanctions imposed to other companies and individuals in Russia.

The firms being designated are the shipbuilders Yaroslavsky Shipbuilding Plant and Zelenodolsk Shipyard Plant, equipment manufacturer AO Kontsern Okeanpribor, supplier PAO Zvezda, electronics manufacturer AO Zavod Fiolent and defense component producer GUP RK KTB Sudokompozit.

Moreover, on November 25, 2018, Russian authorities opened fire on and rammed three Ukrainian ships off the coast of Crimea, seizing the ships and capturing 24 Ukrainian crew members, who remain illegally detained in Russia. Russia also continues its occupation of Crimea, and the Kremlin has also backed illegitimate elections held by Ukrainian separatists in the so-called Donetsk People’s Republic on November 11, 2018.

Concluding, Chrystia Freeland, P.C., M.P., Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada reported

Alongside our international partners, we call on Russia to immediately release the 24 detained Ukrainian servicemen and return the seized vessels. Russia must allow free and unhindered passage through the Kerch Strait and the Sea of Azov.