The European Union decided Friday to extend the ban on business dealings with the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea for a year. The region was annexed by Russia from Ukraine in 2014.
The sanctions will now be in place till June 23, 2017, and prohibit imports of products from Crimea, investment in the peninsula or cooperation in tourism services. Exports of some goods and services to the region are also prohibited.
Crimean head Sergey Aksyonov had said Tuesday that Crimea was prepared for extension of sanctions by the European Union as they expire in June.
“We were preparing… as we understood that sanctions will not be canceled in the nearest time, for the next 10 years at least. At least not sanctions against Crimea,” Aksyonov said, according to TASS, the Russian news agency.
Next week, the EU is due to extend its broader economic sanctions on Russia over its role in the crisis in Ukraine. Russia-backed rebels have taken up arms against Kiev in eastern parts of the country resulting in more than 9,000 deaths in fighting since 2014, reported Reuters.
However, the EU is looking to review its policy toward Moscow later this year. A high-profile visit to Russia by European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker Thursday is being seen as a step in this direction.