BRUSSELS, September 6. /TASS/. Permanent Representatives of the 28 member states of the European Union have agreed to extend the blacklist for Russia, which expires on September 15, for six months, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS.
"At today’s meeting, EU representatives agreed to extend individual restrictions for six months," the source said.
According to the diplomatic source, the decision should be approved by the Council of the European Union before September 15. 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.