EU extends restrictions in response to illegal annexation

1. Renewal of economic sanctions relating to Crimea and Sevastopol

On 19 June 2015, the Council extended the EU restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol until 23 June 2016. The sanctions include prohibitions on:

  • imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU;
  • investment in Crimea or Sevastopol, meaning that no Europeans nor EU-based companies can buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services;
  • tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol, in particular, European cruise ships cannot call at ports in the Crimean peninsula, except in case of emergency;
  • exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and related to the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources. Technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in these sectors must not be provided either.

As stated by the European Council on 19 March 2015, the EU continues to condemn the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and remain committed to fully implement its non-recognition policy.

2. Renewal of economic sanctions against Russia

On 17 June 2015, the EU Committee of Permanent Representatives already agreed to renew economic sanctions against Russia for 6 months. It is expected that the European Council will ratify this renewal on 22 June 2015. These sanctions prohibit, among others, financial transactions with certain Russian state banks, the export to Russia of energy-exploration equipment and the sale of weapons and certain dual-use items to Russia.  These sanctions were to expire on 31 July 2015 but are thus likely to be renewed for 6 months.  The applicable asset freezes and travel bans in relation to the undermining of Ukraine’s sovereignty, territorial integrity, or independence, are due to expire on 15 September 2015, but may well be renewed as well.

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