EU Extends Sanctions upon Crimea, Hits Local Traders and Businesses
The European Union has extended wide ranging sanctions against Crimea and Sevastopol for a further 12 months. The restrictions were imposed in the framework of the EU’s strategy of refusing to recognize Crimea’s reunification with Russia.
The Crimea-related sanctions include a ban on importing any Crimean goods, any European investments in Crimea, including buying real estate, financing businesses, providing services, including in the tourism sector. European vessels are banned from entering Crimean ports, and aircraft cannot land at Crimea’s airports, except for emergency situations.
The export to Crimea of goods and technologies in transport, telecommunications, energy, oil production, and refining and natural resources production sectors is banned. It is also prohibited to provide any technical services to companies that work in these sectors.
The EU’s sanctions policy against Russia includes three independent tracks: visa restrictions against Russian citizens, economic sanctions against a number of Russian state companies in oil, defense, and financial sectors, and also restrictions against Crimea. All these packages were introduced in 2014. Two first sanctions packages are extended once in six months, and the restrictions against Crimea once per year.
Chris Devonshire-Ellis of Dezan Shira & Associates comments: “These sanctions impact local businesses directly rather than the Russian government. In doing so, they are creating an environment whereby local citizens of Crimea are effectively being punished and cut off from normal EU trade routes simply because of where they live. These are ill-thought out measures and are creating a regional environment that is becoming even more anti-EU and more pro-Russia. If the EU treats Crimea like this then the peninsula citizens will rely more upon Moscow, and look more towards Russia as its sustainable investment and trade partner. Which is exactly what is happening.”
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