BRUSSELS, September 5. /TASS/. The European Union will extend the blacklist, containing the names of 153 citizens of Russia and the self-proclaimed Donbass republics, as well as 40 companies, for six months, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS on Tuesday.
According to the source, the Committee of Permanent Representatives in the European Union (COREPER) is likely to make a decision on extending the blacklist at its next meeting, scheduled to be held on Wednesday. The source added that the Council of the European Union would have to approve the decision, after that it would be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force.
In March, the blacklist was extended for six months, until September 15, 2017. At the time, the list consisted of 146 individuals and 37 companies. However, on August 4, the European Union expanded it sanctions on Russia citing the alleged delivery of Siemens-made gas turbine systems to Crimea. Three Russian citizens and three companies were blacklisted.
The European Union started to impose sanctions on Russia over the Ukrainian events in March 2014. At the EU summit held on March 6, 2014, a decision was made that if tensions in Crimea did not ease, then the EU would exert pressure on Russia. At the same time, the Russia-EU summit was cancelled, talks on visa-free travels and new cooperation agreement were suspended.
Later, the European Union introduced three sanctions packages against Russia, including individual and sectoral sanctions, as well as the so-called Crimea sanctions package. Brussels has been extending these sanctions every six months or every year.