BRUSSELS, September 2. /TASS/. The European Union’s 28 countries are fully unanimous regarding the need for prolonging the operation of the "black list" for Russia and the self-proclaimed republics in the east of Ukraine, a diplomatic source has told TASS about the just-started meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the EU, devoted to this issue.
"The member-countries are unanimous the ‘black list’ should be prolonged one more time. The question of dates is a matter of discussion. It can be prolonged for three or six months," the diplomat said.
He speculated that a decision may be made later today or next week, if disagreements prove serious enough.
"There still is some time. The current ‘black list’ expires in two weeks’ time," he recalled. On the black list for Russia there are 151 persons, including officials, politicians, businessmen and law enforcers, as well as practically all officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics. All of them are prohibited from entering the European Union. Their assets, should any be identified in the European banks, are liable to a freeze. Also, on the same list there are 37 organizations, including all known military and political agencies of the Donetsk and Luhansk republics. The European businesses are not allowed to have any contacts with them.
Moscow has repeatedly said that the Western sanctions introduced over the conflict in Ukraine are counter-productive. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov remarked at a certain point that "the fanning of confrontation and attempts at sanction pressures on Russia are a dead end.".