The EU has today imposed additional sanctions on investment, services and trade with Crimea and Sevastopol ‘in view of the continued illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol’. The new measures, on the ‘sanctions in force’ section of this blog, are Council Regulation (EU) No 1351/2014, which amends Council Regulation (EU) No 692/2014, and Council Decision 2014/933/CFSP which amends Council Decision 2014/386/CFSP. Both measures enter into force tomorrow (20 December 2014).
Sanctions restricting trade with Crimea and Sevastopol were first imposed in June 2014 (as previously reported) and further restrictions were introduced in July 2014 on trade and investment in certain economic sectors and infrastructure projects.
The German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in a news conference today that the EU may consider lifting its sanctions against Russia if Ukraine’s territorial integrity is preserved. She said the EU “will see whether there is any progress in this direction. Then we can move towards lifting the sanctions.”
The previous measures prohibited investment, acquisition, or creation of a joint venture in the transport, communications, energy, and oil, gas and mineral exploration sectors. These prohibitions have been broadened to include:
- Acquiring or extending ownership in any entity in Crimea and Sevastopol
- Granting loans or credit or otherwise providing financing to any entity in Crimea or Sevastopol
- Creating any joint venture in Crimea or Sevastopol
- Acquiring or extending ownership in real estate located in Crimea and Sevastopol
- Providing investment services related to any of the sectors listed above
These prohibitions are without prejudice to obligations under contracts concluded before 20 December 2014, if prior notification is provided to a competent authority.
The previous measures prohibited the provision of technical assistance or brokering assistance to investment activities in the transport, communications, energy, and oil, gas and mineral exploration sectors. It was also prohibited to sell, supply, transfer, or export goods and technology in these sectors Crimea and Sevastopol. The new measures further prohibit providing financing or financial assistance to these sectors.
A new ban on providing services directly relating to tourism activities in Crimea and Sevastopol has been introduced. In particular, it is prohibited for cruise ships to call at any ports situated in the Crimean peninsula, except in cases of emergency or under contracts concluded before 20 December 2014 (with the prior authorisation of a competent authority).