The EU has extended its economic sanctions against Russia for another six months because of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
Brussels – The trade and investment restrictions are now valid until January 31 of next year, as the representation of the member states announced on Monday after a decision by the EU foreign ministers in Brussels.
Russia criticized the extension. “Of course, such decisions in no way open up new perspectives for the normalization of relations between Moscow and Brussels,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
In the conflict in eastern Ukraine, government troops and Russian-backed separatists have faced each other since 2014. Actually, there is currently a ceasefire. However, he has been injured several times in the past few months. According to UN estimates, more than 13,000 people have been killed since the conflict broke out.
According to the current EU resolution, Russia can only hope that the economic sanctions will be lifted once the agreements of the so-called Minsk Peace Plan have been completely fulfilled. By linking the sanctions to the plan, the EU states want to persuade Russian President Vladimir Putin to use his influence on the pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine more to settle the conflict.
According to diplomats, experts assume that the sanctions have already cost Russia a very large amount of billions. But the European economy will also be affected, as the punitive measures make it more difficult for many EU companies to trade with Russia. In return, Moscow also bans the import of Western agricultural products such as fruit and meat.
The EU sanctions were introduced after the crash of a Malaysian plane carrying 298 people over eastern Ukraine in July 2014. It was investigated that it was shot down by pro-Russian separatists. (dpa)