Brussels-based RFE/RL journalist Rikard Jozwiak says the European Union ambassadors have decided to prolong sanctions against Russia for the annexation of Ukraine's Crimea.

"EU ambassadors have extended visa bans & asset freezes against 175 Russians and separatists + 44 entities by six months for violating the territorial integrity of Ukraine. Should be confirmed by ministers on 12 March," he wrote on Twitter on March 4, 2020.

At the same time, Jozwiak said asset freezes on former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov and Ukrainian Energy Minister Eduard Stavytskiy would be removed.

"EU ambassadors have decided to remove the asset freezes on the former pm of #Ukraine Azarov & the ex-energy minister Stavytskiy. Prolonged by 12 months for Yanukovych and 8 others & for six months for his son Oleksandr," the journalist tweeted.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the EU on March 6, 2014, froze assets of former Ukrainian officials who had been in office during Viktor Yanukovych's presidency over misuse of public funds and human rights violations.

In December 2018, the Court of Justice of the European Union canceled restrictive measures imposed on Azarov.