Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin / Photo from UNIAN

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin says the European Union has already been working for several months on tougher sanctions against the Russian Federation over the illegal construction of the Kerch Strait bridge linking Russia to Russian-occupied Crimea.

Asked about prospects for the expansion of EU sanctions against Russian companies involved in the illegal construction of the bridge, Klimkin told journalists in Kyiv: "The EU is considering this."

In his words, the issue should gain full support from all 28 EU member states, an UNIAN correspondent reported.

Read alsoEU sanctions over Crimean bridge may help stop Russian blockade of Ukrainian ports in Sea of Azov – Poroshenko

"On the one hand, the process itself isn't very fast, but the decision is a necessary outcome," Klimkin said.

"When I said there would definitely be sanctions for the so-called 'Crimean elections,' they were introduced, but their elaboration lasted several months, and work on new sanctions will also take several months," the minister said.

He also said the U.S. sanctions imposed after the poisoning of former Russian intelligence agent Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the British city of Salisbury had formally came into force today.

"You could see the sanctions pressure growing. It is growing on the part of the United States, it is growing on the part of Europe. It is not just tangible, it is depriving Russia of the ability to develop and feel like a civilized country," Klimkin said.

"And this pressure is efficient now and will certainly continue to be in future, and we will work with everyone not only to expand these sanctions in quantity by increasing the number of companies and so on, but also to make these sanctions affect Russia in a consistent manner," the minister said.

The European Union on July 31, 2018, imposed asset freezes on six Russian firms for their involvement in the construction of the Crimean bridge.

The companies include three firms — PJSC Mostotrest, SGM and Stroygazmontazh Most OOO — controlled by billionaire Arkady Rotenberg. Construction firm CJSC VAD, engineering firm GPSM and the Zaliv Shipyard were also named.