EU extends existing economic sanctions against Russia

BRUSSELS (dpa-AFX) – The European Union’s existing economic sanctions against Russia are being extended by a further six months due to the ongoing conflict in Ukraine. The EU heads of state and government agreed on this at their summit in Brussels, as French President Emmanuel Macron announced on Friday night. The EU had imposed the trade and investment restrictions despite billions in losses for domestic companies in 2014 and last extended in July to January 31 of next year. They will now apply until the end of July next year.

In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, government troops and Russian-backed separatists have faced each other since 2014. Actually there is currently a ceasefire. However, he is increasingly injured again and again and for weeks considerable Russian troop movements towards Ukraine have been causing concern in the EU. US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said in early December that it was “deeply concerned about evidence that Russia had plans for major aggressive steps against Ukraine.”

According to the current EU resolution, Russia can only hope that the economic sanctions will be lifted once the agreements of the so-called Minsk Peace Plan have been fully met. By linking the sanctions to the plan, the EU states want to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine more to resolve the conflict.

According to diplomats, experts assume that the sanctions have already cost Russia billions. But the European economy will also be affected. The punitive measures make it difficult for many EU companies to trade with Russia. In return, Moscow has imposed import bans on Western agricultural products such as fruit and meat.

The EU punitive measures were introduced after the crash of a Malaysian plane carrying 298 people over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. According to investigations, it was shot down by pro-Russian separatists. According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people have been killed since the outbreak of the conflict. / Aha / DP / zb

Leave A Comment