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    The Crimea State Council in Simferopol. (File)

    EU Punishes Crimeans for Democratic Choice by Extending Sanctions - Russian MP

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    By extending sanctions against Crimea, the European Union is punishing the Crimean people rather than hurting the Russian government, the chair of Russia's Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Konstantin Kosachev said on Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On Monday, EU foreign ministers announced that the restrictive measures against Crimea would be extended until June 23, 2018.

    "The issue is, in fact, very telling. Since it is forbidden to import what the Crimeans produce, the peninsula is cut off investments, technologies and tourists. In other words, everything that concerns the immediate well-being of people living in Crimea… It is clearer than ever, the punishment is not aimed at the Kremlin, but at the Crimeans," Kosachev wrote on Facebook.

    Kosachev then questioned the intentions of the European Union toward Crimea and its residents, as it seemed apparent to him that the bloc was going against the democratic and humanitarian ideals of "developed democracies."

    "Following such demonstration of the Europeans' true intentions, there is only one question left: have we only now arrived at the situation of such an inverted world where 'developed democracies' are actively fighting against democracy and human rights, or has it always been like this, just not so obvious until now?" Kosachev concluded.

    Crimea reunified with Russia following the region's referendum on March 2014, when 96.77 percent of the Crimean Republic's electorate and 95.6 percent of Sevastopol residents voted in favor of the move. The referendum took place in the aftermath of a coup in Ukraine in February 2014. The Russian leadership has repeatedly stated that Crimean residents voted democratically, and in full compliance with international law and the UN Charter.

    The EU sanctions against Crimea were introduced for the first time in June 2014. The restrictions started off by banning imports of goods without Ukrainian certificates into Europe. What followed was a ban on exports of a significant amount of goods from Europe and a full-fledged ban on investments into Crimea.


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