The European Union has extended sanctions against Russia for actions against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, communicated by the Council. Restrictive measures were extended until 15 September 2018.

The Communication notes that on 12 March the Council of EU extended the restrictive measures for a further 6 months due to actions undermining and threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. The measures contain an assets freezing and a visa ban. They continue to affect 150 people and 38 companies.

“The assessment of the situation does not justify a change in the sanctions regime”, the 28 EU Member States stated in an official declaration. The measures will enter into force on 13 March 2018.

The EU has also imposed other measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine: economic sanctions against Russia, which are in force until 31 July 2018 and restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the their territory, in force until 23 June 2018.

Since March 2014 the EU is gradually imposing restrictive measures against Russia. The alleged violation of Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia was then condemned. The measures were adopted in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and the deliberate destabilization of Ukraine.

The EU imposes various types of restrictive measures, including diplomatic measures, asset freezing and restrictions on persons and economic sanctions. The EU-Russia Summit was cancelled in 2014 and EU Member States decided not to hold regular bilateral summits. Bilateral talks with Russia on visa issues and the new EU-Russia agreement were suspended.

Immediately afterwards, Washington announced that it welcomed the decision adopted by the European leaders to impose new sanctions against Russia for events in Ukraine. In the statement, the White House described Moscow’s course with regard to Ukraine as “illegal actions”.