Trump administration rolls out new sanctions over Russian occupation of Crimea

The Trump administration on Wednesday announced new sanctions related to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.

The Treasury Department designated eight individuals in Ukraine in response to Russian aggression in the region, seven of whom are acting as government officials in Crimea with Russia's backing and without authorization from Ukraine and who were also designated by the European Union on Tuesday.

The U.S. sanctions also designate a Moscow-based private rail company, Grand Services Express, offering service between Russia and Crimea, as well as the company’s CEO.

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Treasury Secretary Steven MnuchinSteven Terner MnuchinOn The Money: Infrastructure bill gains new steam as coronavirus worsens | Trump officials detail new small-business loan program | Outbreak poses threat to mortgage industry Democrats press Mnuchin to defend T coronavirus stimulus IG McConnell launches ad touting role in passing coronavirus relief MORE said in a statement that the action reiterates “our unwavering support for restoring free and fair democratic political processes in Crimea.”

“The coordinated U.S., EU, and Canadian designations limit the ability of these illegitimate officials to do business internationally and highlights the strength of the transatlantic alliance in standing up to Russia’s continued aggression,” Mnuchin said.

The sanctions will block those targeted from accessing assets controlled by the U.S. and prevent Americans from doing business with the individuals and entities.

The U.S. has taken various steps to thwart Russian aggression in Ukraine since Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in 2014 — an action the West has determined to be illegal.

The new sanctions come as Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoSusan Rice scolds Pompeo for using 'Wuhan virus' term Overnight Defense: Aircraft carrier captain pleads for help with outbreak | Pentagon shipment of ventilators delayed | Pompeo urges countries to be more 'transparent' with virus data US tells Maduro, Guaidó to 'step aside' in Venezuela MORE is traveling to Ukraine for a diplomatic visit.

U.S.-Ukraine relations have also been at the center of President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE’s impeachment trial. The Democrat-controlled House voted to impeach Trump for abusing his office over his dealings with Ukraine and obstructing the subsequent congressional inquiry. Trump has denied the charges.