SIMFEROPOL, June 7. /TASS/. The Republic of Crimea, which has been facing western sanctions since its reunification with Russia in 2014, has learned to disregard these restrictions, Crimean Economic Development Minister Andrei Melnikov told reporters on Wednesday.
"We will live as we lived before," he said. "You know, there are some outdated stories that one just pays no attention to. There are sanctions, but in the past few years we have learned to carry on with our work actually disregarding these restrictions. Let them impose sanctions. What then? Life doesn’t end there," the minister added.
According to him, the western sanctions "do not much affect the economic situation in the region."
"They may remain some kind of a political fact, but I don’t at all consider them from the economic point of view," Melnikov added.
According to earlier reports, ambassadors of the European Union’s 28 member states approved the decision to extend sanctions against Crimea for another year. Now the Council of the European Union needs to endorse the decision which may be done at a meeting of the EU foreign ministers scheduled to be held in Luxembourg on June 19.
In 2014, the United States and the European Union imposed sanctions on Moscow over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Some of the Russian officials were barred from entering EU counties and the US, their assets were frozen. Besides that, trade, financial and military restrictions were also introduced.
The EU sanctions against Crimea particularly ban the imports of any Crimean goods as well as the European investment in Crimea, including real estate purchases, financing business projects and providing services. Besides, the European ships are prohibited to enter Crimean ports except for emergencies. In addition, the EU banned the exports of goods and technologies concerning the transport sphere, telecommunications, energy sector, oil production and natural resource exploitation
After Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovich was ousted in a coup in February 2014, mass protests began in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. On March 11, 2014, Crimea’s Supreme Council and Sevastopol City Council adopted a declaration of independence.
On March 16, 2014, a referendum on reuniting with Russia was conducted. Over 80% of voters participated in the plebiscite, most of them supporting the idea (96.7% in Crimea and 95.6% in the city of Sevastopol).
On March 18, the treaty on Crimea’s reunification with Russia was signed by President Vladimir Putin, Russia’s Federal Assembly (parliament) approved the document on March 21, 2014.