LONDON - The European Union on Tuesday named Russia's military chief of staff, deputy prime minister and other members of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle as new targets of sanctions in response to the worsening political tumult and security crisis in Ukraine.
Also added to the EU's blacklist were two deputy chairmen of the parliament in Moscow, the head of military intelligence and pro-Russian separatists accused of fomenting unrest in eastern Ukraine, where militants have seized government buildings, detained official international monitors, threatened journalists and shot a mayor in the back.
Foreign ministers from the EU's 28 member states had agreed Monday to slap sanctions on 15 more individuals but did not publicly identify them until Tuesday.
The move came after the United States expanded its list of high-profile Russians under sanction.
But unlike the United States, which has gone after oligarchs and leaders of Russia's economy, Europe has confined its restrictive measures to political and military figures.
The EU relies heavily on Russian energy and trade, and is divided over stronger action against Moscow that might harm Europe's own economic prospects.
Still, EU leaders have been alarmed by the escalating breakdown of law and order in eastern Ukraine as well as Russia's alleged abetting of the destabilizing forces there in defiance of an international agreement, to which Moscow is party, to defuse the tension.
"The downward spiral of violence and intimidation undermines the normal functioning of the legitimate state institutions" in eastern Ukraine, said Catherine Ashton, the EU's top diplomat. "A number of people have been killed, wounded, tortured or kidnapped in the last few days."
She called on Russia to abide by the diplomatic agreement reached in Geneva earlier this month to try to restore calm in the region, which includes the disarming of militant groups.