EU decides to extend sanctions over Russia’s Crimea annexation

EU flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels EU flags outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels REUTERS/Yves Herman/File Photo

10 September 2020

The Council decided to lengthen the restrictive measures for a further six months, until 15 March 2021

Since March 2014, the European Union has been imposing restrictive measures against the Russian Federation, following its illegal annexation of Crimea, which is officially part of Ukraine. Crimea was assigned to the Ukrainan Soviet Socialist Republic in 1954, but Russia always considered it part of its own territory since the peninsula was historically tied to Moscow and Ukraine itself was under soviet administration. Even though the annexation was confirmed by a popular referendum, both the European Union and the United Nations contested its validity, condemning the event as a clear violation of international law and adopting a strict non-recognition policy. 

In spite of the restrictive measures adopted through the last six years, the situation is still unchanged: Crimea remains under the Russian Federation’s control and Ukraine is not likely to regain the administration of the region soon. On 10 September, the EU Council decided to extend the existing sanctions for a further six months, until 15 March 2021. 

The sanctions adopted have been of different kinds, from diplomatic measures to individual restrictive ones, such as asset freeze and travel restrictions against individuals who undermined Ukraine’s territorial integrity and sovereignty. Such individual restrictive measures currently apply to 175 persons and 44 entities. The list of sanctioned people and entities is constantly reviewed and periodically updated by the Council. Moreover, there have been restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of trade with Russia.  


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Author: Margherita Curti; Editor: Matteo Consiglio

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