The European Union has extended the sanctions against Russia. The sanctions concerning Crimea and Sevastopol have been extended by one year, and those directly concerning Russia have been extended by six months. In response, Russia has renewed its ban on food imports from the West for a year. Depending on the situation in Ukraine, the US and EU may expand the sanction regime against Russia. Companies are advised to closely follow any developments regarding the relevant sanctions. We will continue to inform you about any major developments in upcoming editions of In context.

On 19  June 2015, the Council of the EU extended the EU sanctions concerning Crimea and Sevastopol until 23 June 2016. These sanctions restrict:

  • importing products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol
  • investing in or providing financial services to the region
  • providing tourism services to the region
  • exporting goods or technologies to the region for use in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or in the oil, gas and minerals industries, or providing related services.

On 22 June 2015, the Council of the EU also extended the EU sanctions against Russia by six months, until 31 January 2016. The main sanctions prohibit:

  • financial transactions with major Russian state banks
  • export of certain energy-exploration equipment and technology to Russia
  • the export of military and certain dual-use goods to Russia.

A separate regime imposing an EU-wide asset freeze and travel ban on 151 individuals and 37 entities expires on 15 September 2015, but this regime is also likely to be extended.

Russia responded to the extended sanctions on 24 June 2015 by renewing the ban on food imports from the US, Canada, the EU, Norway, and Australia for one year until 24 June 2016.

Depending on how the situation in Ukraine develops and on President Putin’s support for a ceasefire, the US and EU have prepared a new round of sanctions on Russia that would go beyond the existing framework. Reports suggest that additional sanctions could include asset freezes and travel bans on more Russian officials and businessmen, as well as new measures targeting Russia’s fuel exports; cutting off Russian banks from international financial markets; and limiting the ability of Russian businesses to enter into transactions outside Russia.