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EU extends sanctions against Russia over occupation of Ukrainian regions until February 2025

by Martin Fornusek February 20, 2024 11:29 AM 2 min read
The Berlaymont, the EU Commission headquarters, is lit in Blue and Yellow, the colors of the Ukrainian Flag, on May 8, 2022, in Brussels, Belgium. (Thierry Monasse/Getty Images)
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The EU Council has extended sanctions against Russia until Feb. 24, 2025, in response to the occupation and illegal "annexation" of Ukrainian territories in Donetsk, Kherson, Luhansk, and Zaporizhzhia oblasts, the Council announced on Feb. 20.

The Council imposed sanctions against Russia on Feb. 23, 2022, shortly before the start of the full-scale invasion, and then again in October of that year in response to Russia's declared annexation of four Ukrainian oblasts.

Moscow said in September 2022 that it had annexed the four partially occupied oblasts after staged referenda, a move broadly denounced by Kyiv and the international community as illegal and illegitimate.

"As long as the Russian Federation's illegal actions continue to violate the prohibition on the use of force, which is a serious breach of international law, it is appropriate to maintain in force all the measures currently imposed by the Union and to take additional measures, if necessary," the Council's announcement read.

In January, the Council also extended sanctions against Russia over the "actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine" until July 31, 2024. The EU has imposed restrictive measures over the occupation of Crimea, the first Ukrainian region to be illegally seized by Moscow, in 2014.

The EU has already applied 12 sanctions packages against Moscow in response to its aggression against Ukraine and is currently reading its 13th package, which is expected to be unveiled on Feb. 24.

Foreign minister: Hungary won’t block new EU sanctions package against Russia
According to Szijjarto, Budapest will not obstruct the approval, as all elements of the sanctions package that “harmed Hungarian interests have been removed” and the updated package does not “affect the basic economic interests” of his country.

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