The European Union (EU) has extended its sanctions against Russia for another year over Moscow’s alleged role in the crisis in eastern Ukraine.
EU foreign ministers said in a statement on Monday that the bloc “extended the restrictive measures” in response to Russia’s alleged interference in the conflict in eastern Ukraine and Crimea’s unification with Russia in 2014.
The sanctions, which were due to expire on Friday, were now set to run until June 23, 2018.
The EU has blocked the import of products from Crimea and halted any European investment or real estate purchases and prevents cruise ships from stopping in Crimea.
It has also banned the exports to Crimea of certain goods and technologies that could be used in the transport, telecommunications, or energy sector, particularly oil, gas, or mineral exploration.
Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17, 2014 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum, in which the majority of people voted to separate from Ukraine and reunite with Russia.
The EU, however, considers the development as an illegal “annexation” and has imposed a raft of economic sanctions on Russia. The 28-member bloc has also extended an array of other sanctions on Moscow for another six months in March.
Russia, however, has categorically denied the allegations that it is responsible for the Ukrainian conflict.