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US sanctions Crimea's breakaway leaders

People walk by the city clock tower of the railway station in Simferopol on April 11, 2014The United States unveiled sanctions Friday against six of Crimea’s breakaway leaders, including the official who signed the deal with Moscow to split the peninsula from Ukraine. US officials have been warning for days that more sanctions against individuals and companies were in the works, as it calls on Moscow to de-escalate tensions and withdraw Russian troops from Ukraine’s eastern border in the worst East-West standoff since the Cold War. A first wave of US sanctions unveiled in March notably blacklisted officials and businesspeople close to Russian President Vladimir Putin to protest Moscow’s takeover of Crimea. The new Treasury sanctions targeted the former vice speaker of Ukraine’s parliament, Sergei Tsekov, who helped pave the way toward the March referendum in Crimea that led to its annexation by Russia and was branded “illegal” by the West.

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