The European Union has rolled over for another year sanctions imposed over Russia's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.
EU member states “decided to renew the sanctions introduced in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by the Russian Federation until 23 June 2021," the European Council said in a statement on June 18.
The restrictive measures were introduced in 2014 as a response to Russia's forcible seizure of Crimea in March 2014 after Moscow sent in troops and staged a referendum dismissed as illegal by at least 100 countries.
The sanctions include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating in Crimea into the EU, as well as infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services on the peninsula.
Goods and technologies for the transport, telecommunications, and energy sectors also cannot be exported to Crimean companies or for use on the peninsula.
Separately, the EU has imposed a raft of economic sanctions related to Russia's support for separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014.
These sanctions targeting Russia are set to expire on July 31.
Reuters quoted diplomatic sources and officials as saying that the 27 national EU leaders are expected on June 19 to back extending the restrictive measures for another six months -- until the end of January 2021.
In Moscow, the head of the Russian Foreign Ministry's European Cooperation Department, Nikolai Kobrinets, told Interfax that “life under sanctions can be hard, and they're doing a lot of harm to our economy, yet we adapt."