EU extends anti-Russian sanctions until mid-September 2017
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MOSCOW, March 13 (RAPSI) – The European Union has prolonged sanctions imposed against Russian and Ukrainian persons and companies over a crisis in Ukraine until September 15, 2017, according to a news release issued by the Council of Europe on Monday.
Sanctions include asset freezes and travel bans, the statement reads.
The restrictive measures are currently targeting 150 individuals and 37 companies because of their alleged involvement in “threatening Ukraine’s territorial integrity,” and “destabilization in the country.” The Council reviewed “the list of persons and entities subject to these restrictive measures” and removed two deceased persons from it.
In March 2014, the European Council imposed restrictive measures on a number of Russian individuals and entities following a crisis in Ukraine and the developing situation in Crimea. The sanctions list includes officials and businessmen as well as leaders of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk people’s republics.
Aside from individual sanctions, the EU imposed sector-specific sanctions against Russia that have negatively affected major Russian financial institutions and major companies. The sanctions list has been repeatedly extended.
In response, in August 2014, the Russian government introduced a year-long ban on agricultural imports from the EU, the US, Canada and several other countries that imposed sanctions on Russia. Blacklisted food imports included meat, fish, dairy, fruit and vegetables. In late June 2015, Russia extended the embargo until August 5, 2016. This June ban was extended yet again until December 31, 2017.
Crimea reunited with Russia following a referendum in March 2014. Over 96 percent of those who took part in the polls voted for joining Russia.
Ukrainian officials and some Western states have repeatedly accused Russia of interfering in Ukraine’s domestic issues.
Moscow has repeatedly claimed that it has had absolutely no part in the events in southeastern Ukraine and does not supply the self-defense forces with military equipment and ammunition; that it is not a party to the domestic Ukrainian conflict and is interested in Ukraine overcoming the political and economic crisis.