This is “in view of the Russian Federation’s continuing actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine.” The measures, say the EU, will last until 31 July.
Sanctions, first introduced in 2014 in response to Russia’s actions “destabilising” the situation in Ukraine, were significantly expanded since February 2022 in response to what the EU calls Russia’s “unprovoked, unjustified and illegal military aggression against Ukraine.”
They currently consist of a broad spectrum of sectoral measures, including restrictions on trade, finance, technology and dual-use goods, industry, transport and luxury goods.
They also cover: a ban on the import or transfer of seaborne crude oil and certain petroleum products from Russia to the EU, a de-SWIFTing of several Russian banks and the suspension of the broadcasting activities and licenses of several Kremlin-backed disinformation outlets.
Additionally, specific measures were introduced to strengthen the ability of the EU to counter sanctions circumvention.
An EU council spokesman said this week, “As long as the illegal actions by the Russian Federation continue to violate the prohibition on the use of force, which is a serious breach of obligations under international law, it is appropriate to maintain in force all the measures imposed by the EU and to take additional measures, if necessary.”
In addition to the economic sanctions on the Russian Federation, the EU has in place different types of measures in response to Russia’s destabilising actions against Ukraine.
These include: restrictions on economic relations with the illegally annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol as well as the non-government controlled areas of Ukraine in the oblasts of Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia; individual restrictive measures (asset freezes and travel restrictions) on a broad range of individuals and entities, and diplomatic measures.
Since 24 February 2022, the EU has adopted 12 “unprecedented and hard-hitting” packages of sanctions in response to Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
In its conclusions, adopted on 14-15 December 2023, the European Council reiterated its condemnation of “Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”
A council spokesman added, “This constitutes a manifest violation of the UN Charter, and recalled the Union’s unwavering support for Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders and its inherent right to self-defence against the Russian aggression.”
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