On 17 June 2016, the Council extended the restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2017. These sanctions date back to 2014 and prohibit:
- imports into the EU of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol;
- investments in Crimea or Sevastopol, meaning that no Europeans nor EU-based companies can buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services;
- tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol, in particular, European cruise ships cannot call at ports in the Crimean peninsula, except in case of emergency;
- exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and related to the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources. This includes technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in these sectors must not be provided either.
The extension has taken place while EU officials are discussing whether to extend the EU’s other sanctions against Russia, including the sanctions against Russia’s financial and energy sector and the asset freezes. Those are due to expire on 31 July 2016 and 15 September 2016, respectively. The EU press release related to the extension of the sanctions on Crimea and Sevastopol can be found here.