Ukraine bans the Austrian design company from working on a Crimean theater project

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy speaks during a meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken at the Bankova in Kiev, Ukraine January 19, 2022. Alex Brandon/Pool via REUTERS

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KIEV, Jan 22 (Reuters) – Ukraine on Saturday imposed sanctions on an Austrian architecture and design firm working on a project to build a new theater house in Sevastopol, a city on the Russian-controlled Crimea peninsula.

A decree by President Volodymyr Zelenskyy states that the Coop Himmelb(L)au company is prohibited from doing business in Ukraine and that no capital may be withdrawn from the country for five years.

The decree also bans the company’s six board members from entering Ukraine and engaging in privatizations, and says their assets in the country will be frozen.

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Kyiv considers Crimea occupied territory and doing business there illegal after Russia annexed the peninsula in 2014.

The company says on its website that Sevastopol is Russian territory.

Since the annexation, the Ukrainian authorities have imposed sanctions on thousands of organizations and figures who have been involved in Russia’s actions against Ukraine or who have continued to do business in Crimea despite Kiev’s restrictions.

A majority of Ukraine’s western allies have not recognized Crimea as part of Russia and support the Kiev sanctions.

The company did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Russia has deployed tens of thousands of troops on Ukraine’s borders and diplomatic efforts are being made to prevent the situation from escalating into war. Russia denies invading Ukraine. Continue reading

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Reporting by Natalia Zinets; Editing by Clelia Oziel

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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