BRUSSELS -- EU ambassadors on September 4 agreed to prolong the sanctions against 170 Russian officials and Russian-backed Ukrainian separatists as well as 44 entities by six months.
The extension of the measures, which include visa bans and asset freezes, to March 2020 will be formally approved next week, according to diplomats who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the issue publicly.
The sanctions list was established after Russia seized control of Ukraine's Crimea region in March 2014 and has grown over the following years as Moscow has continued to back separatists in eastern Ukraine in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people since April 2014.
People on the sanctions list include the Russian ambassador to the United States, Anatoly Antonov, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, the head of the Russian Armed Forces, General Valery Gerasimov, and state TV presenter Dmitry Kiselyov. The entity list is dominated by Russia-backed battalions operating in Ukraine’s eastern Donetsk and Luhansk regions and the Crimean Peninsula, as well as companies from Crimea.