Russians close to Putin targeted in EU/US visa bans

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UkraineProtest111 Reuters. Crimean Tatars take part in a pro-Ukranian meeting in the Crimean village of Eskisaray, outside Simferopol, March 14, 2014. Russia shipped more troops and armour into Crimea on Friday and repeated its threat to invade other parts of Ukraine, showing no sign of listening to Western pleas to back off from the worst confrontation since the Cold War. Signs read, "No war" (L) and "No referendum".

Berlin - Visa bans threatened by the European Union and United States should Crimea vote to join Russia in a referendum would target at least 13 Russian politicians and industry leaders including Vladimir Putin's close aides, Germany's Bild newspaper reported.

The visa ban list includes Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, head of the presidential administration Sergei Ivanov, the secretary of the National Security Council Nikolai Patrushev, as well as several of Putin's advisors, Bild said in an advance copy of a report to be published on Saturday.

The report cited diplomatic sources in Brussels and Washington.

Visa bans could also be slapped on the chief executive of Russian energy firm Gazprom Alexei Miller, and Igor Sechin, head of Russia's top crude oil producer Rosneft. - Reuters



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