EU extends sanctions against Russia over Crimea for a year

Illustration by Binay Sinha
The European Union (EU) has extended sanctions against Russia for a year over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

EU foreign ministers said in a statement today that the 28-nation bloc "remains committed to fully implement its non- recognition policy" of Russia's seizure of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol.

The sanctions are now set to run until June 23, 2018, and apply to EU citizens and companies. They ban the import of products from Crimea and Sevastopol, halt any European investment or real estate purchases and stop cruise ships from stopping there.

The measures also ban the export of some goods and technologies that could be used for transport, telecommunications or in the energy sector particularly oil, gas or mineral exploration.

These sanctions are just one part of a raft of measures the EU has imposed on Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine and misuse of Ukrainian state funds.

Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters today that Moscow does not think the sanctions are "legitimate." He said, "they are hurting not only us but also the countries that adopted them."

In addition to the annexation of Crimea, Russia is backing separatists in eastern Ukraine who are fighting the government. The fighting has left over 10,000 people dead.

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