Leaders of EU Countries Unanimously Vote for Prolonging Russia Sanctions
00:39 GMT 17.12.2021 (Updated: 13:40 GMT 18.11.2022)
The EU economic sanctions, which have been in effect for more than seven years, target the financial, energy and defense sectors in Russia. Initially, these sanctions were introduced by the EU in July 2014 for a period of one year following the political crisis in Ukraine and Crimea rejoining Russia.
Leaders of the EU countries have unanimously voted for the prolongation of sanctions against Russia during the EU summit in Brussels, European Council President Charles Michel said on Friday.
"Massive consequences & severe cost will follow if Russia takes further military action against Ukraine. #EUCO leaders unanimously agreed to roll over economic sanctions against Russia. We call on Russia to keep its part of the bargain and proceed with Minsk implementation," Michel wrote on his Twitter page.
Moreover, according to the EU Summit, the existing restrictions have a significant economic impact on the Russian economy and deprive Moscow of an access to sensitive technologies.
"Sanctions limit access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies and prohibit forms of financial assistance and brokering towards Russian financial institutions. The measures also prohibit the direct or indirect import, export or transfer of all defence-related material and establish a ban for dual-use goods for military use or military-end users in Russia. The sanctions further curtail Russian access to certain sensitive technologies that can be used in the Russian energy sector, for instance in oil production and exploration," the council said.
Before the initial sanctions came to an end, in March 2015, the duration of the sanctions was linked to the "full implementation" of the Minsk agreements. From then on, they have been extended every six months, based on the EU's evaluation of compliance with the agreement.
15 December 2021, 10:52 GMT
Under these sanctions, a number of Russian banks and companies have faced multiple restrictions on access to the primary and secondary capital markets of the EU. Also, a ban has been introduced
on the import and export of weapons and dual-use goods. In addition, the EU has limited the access of Russians to a number of technologies and services for oil production and exploration.
Another extension of these sanctions is expected at the end of January next year.
Moscow has been countering
the sanctions, embarking on a course of import substitution, and has repeatedly stated that it is counterproductive to speak with the nation in the language of sanctions. Russia has also repeatedly emphasized that the conflict in Ukraine's eastern region of Donbas is an internal one,
and Moscow, along with the OSCE, France and Germany, is only a mediator in its settlement within the framework of the Minsk agreements.