The Council of the European Union has today announced that it is to extend its economic sanctions on Russia until June 23, 2017.

The sanctions have been extended in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.

In response to the EU’s economic sanctions, Russia put an embargo on food imports from the EU, which includes dairy and pigmeat products.

A statement from the Council of the EU said that the measures apply to EU persons and EU-based companies, while they are limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol.

The measures originally imposed in July 2014 were reinforced in September 2014 and they target certain exchanges with Russia in the financial, energy and defence sectors and in the area of dual-use goods.

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 in the declaration by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs And Security Policy on behalf of the EU on March 13, 2016, 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.

This is the second time in six months that the EU has extended its economic sanctions on Russia.

In December of last year, the Council decided to prolong the sanctions until July 31, 2016 and the Council’s extension comes as that date approaches.