EU imposes new economic sanctions on Russia over Ukraine

European Union
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The European Union put into effect on Friday a new round of sanctions against Russia over its role in Ukraine, including restrictions on financing for some Russian state-owned companies and asset freezes on leading Russian politicians.

Sanctions published in the EU's Official Journal included asset freezes and travel bans on Igor Lebedev, deputy speaker of the Russian State Duma lower house of parliament, Vladimir Zhirinovsky, an outspoken nationalist politician and a number of leaders of pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Also sanctioned was Sergei Chemezov, described as a close associate of Russian President Vladimir Putin from his KGB days in East Germany. He is chairman of Rostec, a leading defence and industrial group that includes arms supplier Rosoboronexport and a firm that is planning to build energy plants in Crimea.

The EU's new sanctions further restrict access to foreign capital for Russia's largest state-controlled companies, including top energy firms. The United States was expected to follow on Friday with similar measures, targeting Russia's largest bank Sberbank.

Read MoreObama: We will join EU in intensifying sanctions on Russia

"The situation is escalating again and reaches a new level - after all Europe has decided to impose restrictive measures when there is some kind of a ceasefire," Natalia Samoilova, an analyst at Golden-Hills Kapital investment house in Moscow, wrote in a morning note.

Read More Russia Deputy PM: 'Sanctions not good from any side'

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