EU extends sanctions against Russia for another half year
The European Union has pledged to extend for another six months the sanctions against Russian companies and individuals that undermine the territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine.
"The way forward is to re-double our efforts to support the reform process in Ukraine and to resist attempts to destabilize the country," said Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, addressing the participants of the EU Ambassadors conference on September 2, according to an UNIAN correspondent in Brussels.
"Ukraine's case is a test of Europe's fundamental values in the neighbourhood. Countries in the region are watching to see whether sovereign borders can be violated, because this has huge implications for their own security. They want to know whether the future is the rule of law, or the mix of muscle and corruption they have known in the past. Ukraine's future is a mirror image of the European Union's future as a global actor," said Tusk.
"When President Poroshenko visited Brussels last week, it was an opportunity to review the ongoing conflict in Ukraine and our response. The new call to respect the ceasefire, in place since Tuesday, and the vitally important deal on debt reduction for Ukraine are very welcome. Let us hope for the proper implementation of the Minsk agreement, which has come dangerously close to falling apart over the past few months. The latest dramatic events in Kiev only prove how difficult the process has been," Tusk said.
However, the number of persons against whom the sanctions are extended is not yet known, because the decision on this issue is still pending.
Read alsoU.S. extends sanctions list against Russian companies over UkraineIn March this year, when the sanctions have been updated, there were 150 people and 37 companies in the list. But this time, the technical work is still ongoing, so the exact number cannot be confirmed, said an UNIAN source in the European Council.
According to a source, the final decision will be taken in the coming days.
UNIAN’s memo. Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March 2014 after its troops invaded the peninsula, and then began to destabilize the situation in the Donbas. Later, the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People's Republics (DPR and LPR) were created, with the direct participation of Russian special forces and the support of Russian army in Donbas, according to Ukraine officials.
A growing body of evidence shows Russia also supplies weapons to the militants of the DPR and LPR and sends mercenaries and its regular troops to fight in the Donbas.
The European Union, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia, and several other countries imposed sanctions against Russia because of its annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea and its destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
In March 2015, President of the European Council Donald Tusk said that European Union leaders had decided to align further sanctions against Russia to the implementation of the Minsk agreements and would maintain these sanctions until the Minsk agreement were fully implemented.