Foreign ministers for European Union (EU) member states extended sanctions against Crimea, which were due to expire this Friday, by one year. The EU Council announced Monday the extension of “restrictive measures” until June 23, 2018 in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.
The sanctions were adopted in 2014 and have since been extended on a yearly basis. “As stated in the declaration by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy on behalf of the EU on 17 March 2017, the EU continues to condemn the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation and remains committed to fully implement its non-recognition policy,” a press release on the website of European Council stated.
The EU condemned the annexation of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol three years ago by the Russian Federation and the Council “remains firmly committed to Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” according to the declaration by Federica Mogherini, the High Representative of the EU for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.
The EU reiterated it did not recognize and continued to “condemn this violation of international law. It remains a direct challenge to international security, with grave implications for the international legal order that protects the unity and sovereignty of all States.”
The measures include an EU-wide ban on imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol. No European or EU-based companies can buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services, nor tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol, among other measures.
The EU, which has been imposing sanctions on Crimean products in response to the annexation of Crimea and what has been described as the deliberate destabilization of Ukraine, had decided not to hold regular bilateral…