The European Union extended sanctions against the Russia Federation, Russian officials, and designated Ukrainians, until September of this year, saying the facts on the ground have not altered the case for sanctions and there is no impetus for them to be removed.
“The assessment of the situation did not justify a change in the sanctions regime,” the EU Council said, reports Russian state news agency TASS.
The sanction list of the EU comprises 150 individuals and 37 entities. The ‘black list’ is just one of three independent sanction packages of the EU. Economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy renewed every six months are currently in place until July 2017. Trade and visa restrictions against Crimea are also in force and are reviewed annually, states TASS.
Russia has made a big push to weaken the support in the European Union, attempting to weaken support in Eastern Europe and with certain weaker members of the EU, such as Greece. The Kremlin has also made a big push in the United States and elsewhere with its state media apparatus, such as RT and Sputnik overseas, to lobby for sanctions removal in the West.
The Kremlin seems to be growing frustrated with the Trump administration’s lack of progress in improving relations with the Russian state. Russia state TV has stopped praising Trump and is not cautioning the Russian public that relations between the two powers will not improve any time soon.