BRUSSELS, January 28. /TASS/. The European Union has decided to expand its blacklists on Ukraine by seven more Russian nationals deemed responsible for holding an election in Crimea in September 2019, a representative of the European Union Council told TASS on Tuesday.
"Yes, I can confirm that the EU Council approved this decision," he said.
According to the EU representative, the council will soon officially announce the decision after which it will be published in the Official Journal of the European Union and enter into force.
According to information available to TASS, the decision was greenlighted after Cyprus lifted its veto on this issue on Monday. Cyprus was blocking this slight toughening of sanctions for the past two months trying to persuade other EU members to speed up adoption of restrictions against Turkish legal entities and natural persons responsible for geological exploration works in contested waters around the island.
The EU approved additional sanctions against Russia right before holding an EU-Ukraine Association Council meeting in Brussels on Tuesday. Ukrainian Prime Minister Alexei Goncharuk is scheduled to attend the meeting.
In 2014, the European Union slapped sanctions against Russia relating to the Ukraine events and Crimea’s reunification and continues to expand and prolong them. The visa-free regime and new basic agreement on cooperation talks were suspended, Russian officials were prohibited from entering EU countries, their assets were frozen, and restrictive trade, financial and military measures were adopted. In response, Moscow banned agricultural imports from the EU.