The Council of the European Union has decided to extend the sanctions, first imposed in March 2014, on the persons responsible for undermining the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ukraine. The sanctions apply to 177 individuals and 48 entities, and with the extension, will remain in place until September 15, 2021.
The sanctions arose following the referendum in Crimea, which the European Union Foreign Affairs Council viewed as illegal, and in violation of the Ukrainian constitution. First imposed against 21 officials responsible for actions against Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the asset freezes and travel bans now apply to entities in Crimea and Sevastopol that were confiscated or transferred in violation of Ukrainian law, to some Russian individuals involved in holding local elections in the illegally annexed territory, and to individuals and entities that played a role in the construction of bridge and railway lines linking Russia to Crimea over the Kerch Strait. Other sanctions include bans on goods originating in Crimea and Sevastopol, investment and tourism prohibitions, and technical and engineering assistance.