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  • Russian flag is seen through barbed wire on the roof of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, March 26, 2018.

    Russian flag is seen through barbed wire on the roof of the Russian embassy in Kiev, Ukraine, March 26, 2018. | Photo: Reuters

Published 12 September 2019

Asset freeze and travel restrictions, which have been applied to 170 Russian persons and 44 entities, were extended until March 15, 2020.

The Council of the European Union (EU) announced Thursday that it extends for six months the sanctions against Russia arguing that this country has undermined Ukraine's sovereignty and independence.

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The EU sanctions, which are being extended until March 15, 2020, consist of the assets freezing and travel bans against 170 Russian individuals and 44 entities.

In addition to these measures, the European response to the Ukrainian impasse includes other economic sanctions aimed at specific Russian economic sectors, most of which will be in force until January 31, 2020.

The history of the dispute between Moscow and the West has been already taking place for the last five years ago. On 2014, these relations worsened due to the reinstatement of Crimea to Russia, which happened after a referendum whereby more than 96 percent of voters defended such option.

Besides repeatedly stressing that Russia is not part of the conflict in Ukraine, the Kremlin has reaffirmed that the Crimea reinstatement was carried out in compliance with international law and the United Nations Charter.

On 2014, however, the EU, the United States, and its allies approved several packages of sanctions against Russia, which have been extended since then.

To the EU economic sanctions, Moscow responded with an embargo to agri-food imports from European countries. Among the banned goods are meat, dairy, fish, shellfish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts.

On Sep. 6, Lithuania's President Gitanas Nauseda acknowledged that there is disagreement about sanctions among EU countries and several EU members may question them in the future.

He also confirmed that, at the European community bloc, "we do not have a common position on Russia", which means that the extension of the restrictions to Moscow can be called into question by several countries.

According to statements made by Russia's President Vladimir Putin in June, EU countries have lost about US$240 billion due to their sanctions. Since 2014, however, the Russian loss only has reached US$50 billion.

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