TALLINN - The Council of the European Union on Thrusday decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until June 23, 2021.
The extension of the sanctions will enter into force on June 20.
"This decision demonstrates the European Union's unwavering support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and that violations of international law have consequences for the aggressor. This is particularly important given that Russia is seeking to exacerbate its aggression towards Ukraine in the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic," Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Reinsalu said.
He added that although Russia has tried to use COVID-19 as an excuse to undermine sanctions policy, EU and UN sanctions generally provide for the possibility of requesting humanitarian exemptions and do not prevent countries from fighting the pandemic.
The restrictive measures currently in place include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol. Furthermore, the exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources are also subject to EU restrictions.
As stated in the declaration by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell on behalf of the EU on March 16, 2020, the EU still does not recognize the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and continues to condemn this violation of international law.
Sanctions were first introduced in June 2014 in response to the attempts to deliberately undermine Ukraine’s territorial integrity and destabilize the country. Other EU measures in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine include economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy and individual restrictive measures.