Donald Trump reluctantly signs bill imposing sanctions on Russia
FSB sanctions bill presented in Congress
Sanctions against 24 officers are related to their role in the detention of Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait
A group of congressional lawmakers in charge of Ukraine-related issues presented a bill to impose sanctions on employees of the Federal Security Service of the Russian Federation in connection with their role in the detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors in the Kerch Strait last November.
Four co-chairs of the Ukrainian Caucus announced on July 18 that the bill provides for sanctions against 24 high-ranking FSB officers and their entourage.
As Democratic Congressmen Marcy Captur and Mike Quigley and Republicans Andy Harris and Brian Fitzpatrick said, “The United States continues to strongly condemn Russia’s dangerous naval attack on the Ukrainian Navy and the illegal detention of 24 Ukrainian sailors.”.
“This event continues a series of malicious steps taken by Russia to undermine Ukraine’s democratic progress and a rules-based international order,” lawmakers say..
On November 25, Russian Coast Guard vessels fired on and detained three Ukrainian vessels and their crews en route from the Black Sea to the Ukrainian port of Mariupol on the Sea of Azov.
Moscow has accused the ships of illegally entering Russian territorial waters, which the sailors deny. They were formally charged with illegal border crossing. They are currently in a pre-trial detention center..
Ukraine calls attack and arrest of sailors a violation of international maritime law.
Western leaders are demanding that Russia release the sailors. The incident led to the introduction of additional sanctions against Russia.
In May, the United States, in coordination with the European Union and Canada, imposed sanctions on six Russians, including two FSB officers, and half a dozen defense companies..
In the same month, Ukraine achieved a positive decision in the Hamburg International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, which ruled that Russia should release all detained sailors and three captured ships..
In a resolution of 18 July, the newly elected new composition of the European Parliament called on Russia “without further delay and additional conditions to release all illegally and unreasonably detained Ukrainian citizens both in Russia and in the temporarily occupied territories of Ukraine”.
Seafarers are separately mentioned in the resolution, which is not binding.
In a March 12 report, the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights said Russia had violated international humanitarian law and called the detained Ukrainian sailors “prisoners of war.”.