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BRUSSELS, September 14. /TASS/. The European Council (EC) has completed the formal procedure of extending until 15 March 2016 the blacklist of Russian individuals and legal entities and self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s east, a European diplomatic source said on Monday.
"The European Council has made a decision to extend measures on restricting entry to the EU territory and freezing bank accounts until 15 March 2016," the source said on the sidelines of the EC meeting on general issues at the level of foreign ministers and ministers of EU affairs underway in Brussels.
The decision on the extension of the blacklist will enter into force from the time of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union on September 15-16.
The political decision on extending the blacklist for six months was made on September 2 at the COREPER session (Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union).
Another European source said earlier that the decision was "planned" since the blacklist expires only on September 15.
"This is a planned discussion connected with the approaching expiration of this restrictive measure," the source said. "The issues of extending economic sectoral sanctions against Russia is not on the agenda now. It will be reviewed in January 2016, and the decision will depend, first of all, on the implementation of the Minsk agreements," he added.
The blacklist includes Russian officials, politicians, businessmen and law enforcers, as well as practically all officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk republics.
All of them are banned 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 entities, 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 earlier said "the fanning of confrontation and attempts at sanction pressures on Russia are a dead end."