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31 Jul, 2018 09:15

Brussels slaps six Russian companies with Crimea-related sanctions

Brussels slaps six Russian companies with Crimea-related sanctions

The European Union has extended sanctions against six Russian companies in connection with their work in Crimea and the construction of a bridge to the peninsula.

According to the Official Journal of the EU, the sanctions will target construction engineering company Institute Giprostroymost, Russia’s largest heavy-construction company Mostotrest, engineering and construction corporation VAD ZAO, infrastructure construction firm S.G.M. Group, and shipbuilding and ship-repair company Zalyv Shipbuilding Yard, which is located in Crimea.

The latest measures include freezing the companies’ assets in the EU and banning EU-registered individuals and entities from providing the sanctioned firms with any funds. The updated EU sanctions list includes 44 Russian companies and organizations.

Earlier this month, the European Council prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2019. Apart from the companies, the bloc imposed a visa ban and an asset freeze against 155 Russian individuals.

Brussels imposed punitive measures against Moscow in 2014 in response to Russia’s reunification with Crimea. The primarily ethnic Russian population of the peninsula held a referendum during a violent militant conflict in eastern Ukraine and voted overwhelmingly to rejoin Russia. The EU and US do not recognize the result of the vote and accuse Russia of annexing the region from Ukraine.

EU sanctions limit access to capital markets for Russian banks along with their subsidiaries, and ban Russian defense contractors. The penalties also target some Russian government officials, businessmen, and public figures. European companies are banned from importing goods from Crimea or investing in the region.

In response, the Kremlin has banned food imports from countries that have imposed sanctions against Russia. The ban has recently been extended until the end of 2019.

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