Radio Liberty’s European journalist Rikard Jozwiak wrote on Twitter that permanent representatives of the EU countries approved sanctions against eight Russian citizens because of the Kerch Strait incidents that occurred in late November. TASS and RIA Novosti also confirmed the news, citing diplomatic sources.
Jozwiak wrote, “EU ambassadors have agreed sanctions on 8 people from Russia responsible for detaining the 24 servicemen from Ukraine after the Azov Sea incident in November will be formalized next week. The sanctions against 163 people and 44 entities will also be prolonged by 6 months next week”.
TASS also reported that the final decision on the adding eight people to the sanction lists will be made by the Council of Europe next week. Bloomberg reported that eight Russians would be added to the sanctions list.
RBC news agency reported, citing its source, that the EU ambassadors agreed to legislation adding more people to the EU’s blacklist. As the source explained, the list was expanded because of actions that violate the integrity, independence and sovereignty of Ukraine. Details will be announced officially after the EU Council approves them at the end of next week.
In mid-February, the European Union started preparing sanctions against Russians involved in the attack and seizure of three Ukrainian Navy vessels by Russian border guards.
Vice President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini stated that Moscow had taken no positive steps to resolve the conflict, therefore there were no suitable conditions for lifting the sanctions on Russia. However, she emphasized that the anti-Russian sanctions should not last forever.