SEVASTOPOL/DONETSK, Ukraine | Dozens of Russians involved in Russia’s gradual takeover of Crimea face U.S. and EU travel bans and asset freezes on Monday, after six hours of crisis talks between Washington and Moscow ended with both sides still far apart.
Moscow shipped more troops and armor into Crimea on Friday and repeated its threat to invade other parts of Ukraine in response to violence in Donetsk on Thursday night despite Western demands to pull back.
EU diplomats will choose from a long list of 120-130 possible Russian targets for sanctions on Sunday, as pro-Moscow authorities who have taken power in Crimea hold a vote to join Russia in the worst East-West confrontation since the Cold War.
Several diplomats dismissed a German newspaper report that said the list would include the heads of Russia’s two biggest companies, energy giants Gazprom and Rosneft.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Russia would be guilty of a backdoor annexation of Crimea if its parliament ratified the Crimea referendum, which is taking place after an armed takeover of Crimea and gives voters no chance to say “no”.
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