EU extends Crimea sanctions

  • Elisabeth Gheorghe
  • 22.6.2017 16:50

The EU prolonged its trade sanctions on Crimea, which Russia annexed from Ukraine in 2014, on 19 June, the sanctions will now operate until at least 23 June 2018 and include bans on EU energy exports to the region. Brussels is also expected to extend its sanctions on Russia after the EU leaders’ summit on 22-23 June, prolonging restrictions on arms trade and the Russian banking sector’s access to international markets.

The sanctions are a source of disagreement between EU states. Greece and Italy believe they are ineffective and harm European businesses, whereas Poland and Sweden call for a tougher stance. The EU has so far remained united despite the discord. German Chancellor Angela Merkel recently criticised the newly extended US sanctions on Moscow, as they affect Nord Stream 2 and could impact EU businesses as well as energy security – a move thought to complicate relations with both Ukraine and the US while accentuating EU divisions over Russia. French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian stressed that neither France nor the EU intends to tarnish ties with Russia. Condemning the sanctions, Russia is reportedly working on retaliatory measures.

About author: Elisabeth Gheorghe

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