The European Union (EU) has reportedly expanded its sanctions against Russian officials, targeting 12 more individuals in its new list.
A document obtained by the Associated Press  on Friday showed that the EU’s new sanctions will hit the inner circle of Russian President Vladimir Putin, including the Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, two of his aids and nine others.
According to reports, those on the list, are subject to EU asset freezes and visa bans.
Following a two-day summit in Brussels, the 28-member bloc also agreed to cut its energy dependency on Russia, which supplies more than a quarter of the EU’s natural gas.Rogozin, who is the most high-profile official on the list, has laughed the new sanctions off, saying “these sanctions are not worth a grain of sand of the Crimean land that returned to Russia.”The new sanctions bring the number of Russian officials, targeted by EU sanctions over Crimea’s reunion with Russia, to 33.
On March 17, a day after Crimea’s referendum, EU foreign ministers agreed to slap travel bans and asset freezes on 11 Russian nationals and 8 people from Crimea that they deem responsible for the independence referendum in the Crimea Peninsula.
This came as about 97 percent of people in Ukraine’s strategic Black Sea region voted in favor of joining the Russian Federation in the referendum.
The fresh EU sanctions come after Putin signed into law a ratified treaty that would allow Crimea and Sevastopol to join the Russian Federation.