The European Union is focusing its efforts on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine. The EU calls on all sides to continue engaging in a meaningful and inclusive dialogue leading to a lasting solution; to protect the unity and territorial integrity of the country and to strive to ensure a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all Ukraine's citizens. The EU has also proposed to step-up its support for Ukraine's economic and political reforms.
An extraordinary meeting of the Council of the European Union on 3 March 2014 condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by acts of aggression by the Russian armed forces as well as the authorisation given by the Federation Council of Russia on 1 March for the use of the armed forces on the territory of Ukraine. The EU called on Russia to immediately withdraw its armed forces to the areas of their permanent stationing, in accordance with the Agreement on the Status and Conditions of the Black Sea Fleet stationing on the territory of Ukraine of 1997.
In a statement of the Heads of State or Government following an extraordinary meeting on 6 March, the EU underlined that a solution to the crisis must be found through negotiations between the Governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, including through potential multilateral mechanisms. Having first suspended bilateral talks with the Russian Federation on visa matters and discussions on the New (EU-Russia) Agreement as well as preparations for participation in the G8 Summit in Sochi, the EU also set out a second stage of further measures in the absence of de-escalatory steps and additional far-reaching consequences for EU-Russia relations in case of further destabilisation of the situation in Ukraine.
In the absence of de-escalatory steps by the Russian Federation, on 17 March 2014 the EU imposed the first travel bans and asset freezes against Russian and Ukrainian officials following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea. The EU strongly condemned Russia’s unprovoked violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity.
The EU believes a peaceful solution to the crisis should be found through negotiations between the Governments of Ukraine and the Russian Federation, including through potential multilateral mechanisms.
The EU also remains ready to reverse its decisions and reengage with Russia when it starts contributing actively and without ambiguities to finding a solution to the Ukrainian crisis.
- Instead of the G8 summit in Sochi, a G7 meeting was held in Brussels on 4-5 June. EU countries also supported the suspension of negotiations over Russia's joining the OECD and the International Energy Agency.
- The EU-Russia summit was cancelled and EU member states decided not to hold regular bilateral summits. Bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the New Agreement between the EU and Russia were suspended. In addition, a re-assessment of EU-Russia cooperation programmes is currently ongoing with a view to suspending the implementation of EU bilateral and regional cooperation programmes. Projects dealing exclusively with cross-border cooperation and civil society will be maintained.
Restrictive measures (asset freezes and visa bans)
- Asset freezes and visa bans apply to 151 persons while 37 entities are subject to a freeze of their assets in the EU. This includes 145 persons and 24 entities responsible for action against Ukraine's territorial integrity, six persons providing support to or benefitting Russian decision-makers and 13 entities in Crimea and Sevastopol that were confiscated or that have benefitted from a transfer of ownership contrary to Ukrainian law.
Factsheet on EU restrictive measures
List of persons and entities subject to sanctions
Restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol
As the EU does not recognise the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the following restrictions have been imposed.
- The EU has adopted a prohibition on imports originating from Crimea and Sevastopol unless accompanied by a certificate of origin from the Ukrainian authorities.
- Investment in Crimea or Sevastopol is outlawed. Europeans and EU-based companies may no more buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services.
- In addition, EU operators will no more be permitted to offer tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol. In particular, European cruise ships may no more call at ports in the Crimean peninsula, except in case of emergency. This applies to all ships owned or controlled by a European or flying the flag of a member state. Existing cruise contracts may be still be honoured until 20 March.
- It has also been prohibited to export certain goods and technology to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea. These concern the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources. Technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in the same sectors must not be provided.
On 19 June 2015, the Council extended the EU restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol until 23 June 2016.
Crimea: EU extends restrictions in response to illegal annexation
Council Regulation (EU) No 1351/2014 concerning restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol
Information note to EU businesses operating and/or investing in Crimea/Sevastopol
- EU nationals and companies may no longer buy or sell new bonds, equity or similar financial instruments with a maturity exceeding 30 days, issued by:
- five major state-owned Russian banks, their subsidiaries outside the EU and those acting on their behalf or under their control.
- three major Russia energy companies and
- three major Russian defence companies.
- Services related to the issuing of such financial instruments, e.g. brokering, are also prohibited.
- EU nationals and companies may not provide loans to five major Russian state-owned banks.
- Embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from/to Russia, covering all items on the EU common military list.
- Prohibition on exports of dual use goods and technology for military use in Russia or to Russian military end-users, including all items in the EU list of dual use goods. Export of dual use goods to nine mixed defence companies is also banned.
- Exports of certain energy-related equipment and technology to Russia are subject to prior authorisation by competent authorities of Member States. Export licenses will be denied if products are destined for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia.
- Services necessary for deep water oil exploration and production, arctic oil exploration or production and shale oil projects in Russia may not be supplied, for instance drilling, well testing or logging services.
Guidance note on the implementation of certain provisions of Regulation (EU) No 833/2014 concerning restrictive measures(147 kB)
Measures concerning economic cooperation
- On 16 July, the European Council requested the EIB to suspend the signature of new financing operations in the Russian Federation. European Union Member States will coordinate their positions within the EBRD Board of Directors with a view to also suspending financing of new operations.
- The Council invited the Commission to re-assess EU-Russia cooperation programmes with a view to taking a decision, on a case by case basis, on the suspension of the implementation of EU bilateral and regional cooperation programmes. However, projects dealing exclusively with cross-border cooperation and civil society will be maintained.
More information on EU sanctions against Russia