Updated 8:49 p.m. Moscow Time
BRUSSELS, September 11 (RIA Novosti) - By imposing new restrictive measures on Russia the European Union ignores the de-escalation of the situation in Ukraine and forces Russia to take certain counter-measures, Russia’s Ambassador to EU Vladimir Chizhov said Thursday.
“The de-escalation [in Ukraine] is a fact, but the sanctions pressure continues. It seems that the European Union lives in some sort of an alternate reality,” Chizhov told reporters in Brussels.
“This leaves Russia with no choice but to take certain counter-measures,” the diplomat said.
Earlier on Thursday the European Council (EC) officially unveiled additional sanctions against Russia.
According to an EC statement, the strengthened sanctions will affect Russia's energy, finance and defense sectors, as well as 24 individuals allegedly "involved in actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity," including several Russian decision-makers and oligarchs.
The sanctions will come into force when the legal acts are published in the EU Official Journal on Friday.
The new restrictions were adopted by the European Union on Monday, but their implementation was delayed pending the assessment of the ceasefire regime agreed last week by Kiev authorities and independence supporters during the meeting of the Contact Group on Ukraine in Minsk.
The European Union and the United States have implemented several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia over Moscow's alleged participation in the Ukrainian conflict.
The total number of individuals subject to Western sanctions now stands at 119.
Russia responded to Western sanctions by imposing a one-year ban on the import of certain food products from the European Union, the United States, Canada, Australia and Norway in August.