The EU on Friday extended economic sanctions imposed on the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea and Sevastopol, following their annexation by Russia, with the measures now due to stay in place until June 23, 2016.

The sanctions were introduced in 2014, to reinforce the EU’s opposition to Russia’s illegal annexation of the two territories in March 2014.

Relations between Brussels and Moscow are at their worst level since the end of the Cold War, due to Russia’s actions in Crimea and in eastern Ukraine, where it is accused of supporting pro-Russian separatists.

Under the EU restrictions, products from Crimea and Sevastopol cannot be imported into the bloc.

European exports of goods and technology for the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors including oil and gas prospecting are also prohibited.

European tourism operators are banned from the two regions, meaning for example that cruise ships could only dock in case of emergency, while EU citizens and companies cannot invest or buy property there.

In a separate move on Monday, EU foreign ministers were expected to extend economic sanctions against Russia until Jan. 31, 2016, so the bloc could evaluate Moscow’s implementation of a ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine before taking further decisions.

dpa/NAN


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