In response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilisation of a neighbouring sovereign country, the EU has imposed restrictive measures against the Russian Federation.
- Diplomatic measures
- Restrictive measures (asset freezes and visa bans)
- Restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol
- Measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia ("Economic" sanctions)
- Measures concerning economic cooperation
The European Union is focusing on de-escalating the crisis in Ukraine and on assisting Ukraine in ensuring a stable, prosperous and democratic future for all its citizens. The EU has been unwavering in its support for the country's territorial integrity and sovereignty. It sees the full implementation of the Minsk agreements as the basis for a sustainable political solution to the conflict in the country's east. Since spring 2014, the EU has been stepping up its support to economic and political reforms in Ukraine.
In March 2014, the European Council agreed the first diplomatic measures in response to Russian actions in Ukraine. EU leaders 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.
The European Union has strongly condemned Russia's illegal annexation of Crimea and does not recognise it. 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 persons involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity.
In view of Russia's actions destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine, the EU imposed economic sanctions in July 2014 and reinforced them in September 2014. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of those economic restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The EU 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 2014. EU Member States 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.
Restrictive measures (asset freezes and visa bans)
Asset freezes and visa bans apply to 149 persons while 37 entities are subject to a freeze of their assets in the EU. This includes persons and entities responsible for action against Ukraine's territorial integrity, 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.
Restrictions for Crimea and Sevastopol
As part of the EU's non-recognition policy of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, the EU has imposed substantial restrictions on economic exchanges with the territory. These include:
- A ban on imports of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol unless they have Ukrainian certificates;
- A prohibition to invest in Crimea. Europeans and EU-based companies can no longer buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services. In addition, they may not invest in infrastructure projects in six sectors;
- A ban on providing tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol. European cruise ships may not 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 an EU Member State.
- Goods and technology for the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or the exploration of oil, gas and mineral resources may not be exported to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea;
- Technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in the same sectors must not be provided.
Measures targeting sectoral cooperation and exchanges with Russia ("Economic" sanctions)
- 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;
- three major Russian energy companies;
- three major Russian defence companies;
- subsidiaries outside the EU of the entities above, and those acting on their behalf or at their direction.
- Assistance in relation to the issuing of such financial instruments is also prohibited.
- EU nationals and companies may also not provide loans with a maturity exceeding 30 days to the entities described above.
- Embargo on the import and export of arms and related material from/to Russia, covering all items on the EU common military list, with some exceptions.
- 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 end-users 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 oil exploration and production in waters deeper than 150 meters or in the offshore area north of the Arctic Circle, and projects that have the potential to produce oil from resources located in shale formations by way of hydraulic fracturing.
- The following services necessary for the abovementioned projects may not be supplied: drilling, well testing, logging and completion services and supply of specialised floating vessels.
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 implementation of EU-Russia bilateral and regional cooperation programmes has been largely suspended. Projects dealing exclusively with cross-border cooperation and civil society are maintained.
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