Russia President Vladimir Putin visited Crimea on Saturday after the United States imposed new sanctions on Moscow earlier this week over its alleged actions in Ukraine.

Accompanied by the head of the Crimean Republic Sergei Aksyonov and other senior officials, Putin inspected the reconstruction of the Artek International Children’s Center on the peninsula, according to a Kremlin statement.

During his trip, Putin asked Aksyonov to speed up the reconstruction of the Great Mithridates Staircase, a landmark cultural relic in Crimea.

Putin’s visit came after the U.S. Treasury Department on Tuesday blacklisted 38 individuals and entities and two Russian government officials for their alleged roles in the Ukrainian crisis.

Crimea separated from Ukraine and rejoined Russia in March 2014 following a local referendum, with almost 97 percent of the residents voting for the reunification.

However, Western countries insisted that the peninsula was illegally annexed and they have imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia since 2014. Enditem

Source: Xinhua/NewsGhana.com.gh