European Union External Action

EU restrictive measures in response to the crisis in Ukraine

Diplomatic measures

The EU-Russia summit was cancelled and EU member states decided not to hold regular bilateral summits. Bilateral talks with Russia on visa matters as well as on the New Agreement between the EU and Russia were suspended.

Instead of the G8 summit in Sochi, a G7 meeting was held in Brussels on 4-5 June. Since then, meetings have continued within the G7 process.

EU countries also supported the suspension of negotiations over Russia's joining the OECD and the International Energy Agency.

Individual restrictive measures

Asset freeze and travel restrictions

150 persons and 37 entities are subject to an asset freeze and a travel ban over their responsibility for actions which undermine or threaten the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

On 13 March 2017 the Council prolonged these measures until 15 September 2017.

Misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

In March 2014, the Council decided to freeze the assets of individuals identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds. These measures were last extended in March 2017.

Restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol

As a consequence of the EU's non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia, the Council imposed substantial restrictions on economic relations with Crimea and Sevastopol.

These measures include an import ban on goods from Crimea and Sevastopol, imposed in June 2014, as well as restrictions introduced in July on trade and investment related to certain economic sectors and infrastructure projects.

In addition, a full ban on investment has been in place since December 2014, along with a prohibition to supply tourism services in Crimea. Exports of further key goods for certain sectors are also banned, including equipment for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources.

On 17 June 2016, the Council extended these measures until 23 June 2017.

'Economic sanctions' - measures targeting exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors

In July and September 2014, the EU imposed economic sanctions targeting exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors. In March 2015, EU leaders decided to align the existing sanctions regime to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen for the end of December 2015. Since the Minsk agreements were not fully implemented by 31 December 2015, the Council extended economic sanctions until 31 July 2016. In December 2016, having assessed the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Council prolonged the sanctions until 31 July 2017.

These restrictive measures:

  • limit access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for 5 major Russian majority state-owned financial institutions and their majority-owned subsidiaries established outside of the EU, as well as three major Russian energy and three defense companies
  • impose an export and import ban on trade in arms
  • establish an export ban for dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia
  • curtail Russian access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration

Measures concerning economic cooperation

Restrictions on economic cooperation were introduced by EU leaders in July 2014:

  • the EIB was requested to suspend the signature of new financing operations in the Russian Federation
  • EU member states agreed to coordinate their positions within the EBRD Board of Directors with a view to also suspend the financing of new operations
  • the implementation of EU bilateral and regional cooperation programmes with Russia was re-assessed and certain programmes suspended

Timeline of Council decisions on Ukraine

The following timeline gives an overview of the decisions taken by the European Union since the extraordinary meeting of the Council of the EU on 3 March 2014, which condemned the clear violation of Ukrainian sovereignty and territorial integrity by Russia.

13 March 2017 – Extension of EU sanctions over action against Ukraine's territorial integrity

The Council extended until 15 September 2017 EU restrictive measures against 150 persons and 37 entities, in view of the continuing undermining or threatening of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

Ukraine territorial integrity: EU prolongs sanctions over actions against Ukraine's territorial integrity until 15 September 2017

3 March 2017 – Extension of EU sanctions over misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

The Council extended by one year asset freezes against 15 people identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds or for the abuse of office causing a loss to Ukrainian public funds. 

Misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds: EU prolongs asset freezes against 15 people by one year

19 December 2016– extension of economic sanctions

The Council prolonged EU economic sanctions against Russia until 31 July 2017

In March 2015, EU leaders decided to align the existing sanctions regime to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen for the end of December 2015. Since the Minsk agreements will not be fully implemented by 19 December 2016, the duration of the sanctions has been prolonged whilst the Council continues its assessment of progress in implementation.

Russia: EU prolongs economic sanctions by six months

1 July 2016 – Extension of economic sanctions

The Council prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2017

On 19 March 2015, the European Council agreed to link the duration of the sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. In July 2016, having assessed the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Council decided to renew the sanctions for a further six months, until 31 January 2017.

17 June 2016 – Extension of sanctions in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol

The Council extended the restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2017. The measures apply to EU persons and EU based companies. They are limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol.

10 March 2016 – Extension of EU sanctions over action against Ukraine's territorial integrity

The Council extended until 15 September 2016 EU restrictive measures against 146 people and 37 companies, in view of the continuing undermining or threatening of the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine.

4 March 2016 – Extension of EU sanctions over misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

The Council extended by one year asset freezes against 16 people identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds or for the abuse of office causing a loss to Ukrainian public funds. 

21 December 2015 – extension of economic sanctions

The Council prolonged EU economic sanctions against Russia until 31 July 2016

In March 2015, EU leaders decided to align the existing sanctions regime to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen for the end of December 2015. Since the Minsk agreements will not be fully implemented by 31 December 2015, the duration of the sanctions has been prolonged whilst the Council continues its assessment of progress in implementation.

5 October 2015 – Extension of EU sanctions over misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

The Council extended the asset freeze for one person covered by measures applying until 6 October 2015. 

14 September 2015 – Extension of EU sanctions over action against Ukraine's territorial integrity

The Council extended until 15 March 2016 the application of EU restrictive measures targeting action against Ukraine's territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence. 149 persons and 37 entities are subject to asset freeze and travel bans under these sanctions.

22 June 2015 – Extension of economic sanctions

The Council extended EU economic sanctions until 31 January 2016. These sanctions were introduced in response to Russia's destabilising role in Eastern Ukraine. They target certain exchanges with Russia in the financial, energy and defence sectors and dual-use goods.

19 June 2015 – Extension of restrictions in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol

The Council has extended until 23 June 2016 the EU restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol. These measures include prohibitions on import of products, investment, tourism services and exports of certain goods and technologies.

5 June 2015 – Extension of EU sanctions over misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

The Council has extended the asset freeze for three persons covered by measures applying until 6 June 2015

19-20 March 2015 - European Council

Leaders decided to align the existing sanctions regime to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Economic sanctions will remain enforced until the end of 2015 when the last point of the peace plan is to be implemented: Ukraine regaining control over its borders in the east.

EU leaders also stressed the need to challenge Russia's ongoing campaign of public disinformation about the conflict in Ukraine. The EU High Representative, Federica Mogherini, will prepare an action plan on strategic communication for the June European Council.

EU leaders agreed on the objectives of the Eastern Partnership summit, which will take place in Riga on 21-22 May 2015. The European Council repeated its commitment to the eastern partners and set as a priority to strengthen the democratic institutions to the east.

13 March 2015 – Extension of EU sanctions over action against Ukraine's territorial integrity

The Council extended until 15 September 2015 the application of EU restrictive measures targeting action against Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence.

150 persons and 37 entities are subject to asset freeze and travel bans under these sanctions.

5 March 2015 – Extension of EU sanctions over misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds

The Council has adjusted and extended EU restrictive measures focused on the freezing and recovery of misappropriated Ukrainian state funds.

16 February 2015 – EU strengthens sanctions against separatists in Eastern Ukraine

As requested by the Foreign Affairs Council of 9 February, an asset freeze and an EU travel ban were imposed to 19 persons and 9 entities involved in action against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

This decision brought the total of persons subject to EU sanctions over Ukraine's territorial integrity to 151 and the number of entities under EU asset freeze to 37.

12 February 2015 – EU leaders welcomed the results of the Minsk agreement

At an informal meeting of heads of state or government, EU leaders gave cautious support to the Minsk agreement. They indicated that they will not hesitate to take the necessary steps if the agreement is not implemented and the ceasefire is not respected.

9 February 2015 – Additional listings on hold

The Council unanimously adopted additional listings concerning separatists in Eastern Ukraine and their supporters in Russia. These consist of an asset freeze and a travel ban on 19 persons and 9 entities involved in action against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

To give space for current diplomatic efforts and the upcoming Minsk talks, the Council put the entry into force of the measures on hold until Monday 16 February 2015.

29 January 2015 – Extension of existing individual restrictive measures

The Council strongly condemned the indiscriminate shelling of the residential areas, especially in Mariupol, and the escalation of fighting in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions of Ukraine.

In response to those events, the Council agreed to extend the existing individual restrictive measures, targeting 132 persons and 28 entities for threatening or undermining Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity, until September 2015.

It also called for a proposal on additional designations for decision at the Foreign Affairs Council on 9 February 2015.

18 December 2014 – European Council focused on the eastern neighbourhood

EU leaders discussed the situation on the eastern borders of Europe, support to Ukraine and relations with Russia. They welcomed the strengthening of the sanctions on investment, services and trade with Crimea and Sevastopol.

28 November 2014 – EU strengthens sanctions against separatists in Eastern Ukraine

As requested by the Foreign Affairs Council of 17 November, an asset freeze and an EU travel ban were imposed to 13 persons and five entities involved in action against Ukraine's territorial integrity.

This decision brought the total of persons subject to EU sanctions over Ukraine's territorial integrity to 132 and the number of entities under EU asset freeze to 28.

17 November 2014 – New sanctions under consideration

Ukraine was the main focus of the Foreign Affairs Council. EU ministers asked the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the European Commission to present a proposal on further sanctions against separatists.

12 September 2014 – Further economic sanctions on Russia

A new package of restrictive measures targeting exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors entered into force, reinforcing the measures adopted on 31 July.

30 August 2014 – Special meeting of the European Council

Following the dramatic escalation of the situation, with the presence and actions of Russian armed forces on the Ukrainian territory, the European Council asked for the preparation of new economic sanctions against Russia.

29-31 July 2014 – Adoption of additional restrictive measures against Russia

Following the conclusions of the European Council meeting of 16 July, the Council adopted a package of targeted 'economic sanctions'. These measures concern exchanges with Russia in specific economic sectors.

25 July 2014 – Further EU sanctions over situation in Eastern Ukraine

The Council adopted reinforced EU sanctions. The Council's Committee of Permanent Representatives (Coreper) also discussed the preparatory work on further targeted measures.

22 July 2014 – Council takes action following the downing of flight MH17

EU ministers discussed the situation in Ukraine following the downing of flight MH17. They asked to finalise preparatory work for economic sanctions in four sectors, paving the way for their adoption.

18 July 2014 – Ukraine crisis: EU broadens remit of sanctions

The Council widened the legal basis for EU restrictive measures making it possible to target entities which materially or financially support actions against Ukraine.

16 July 2014 – Special meeting of the European Council

EU leaders regretted that Russia and the separatists had not taken the requested steps set out in the June European Council conclusions. They agreed to target Russia with a new set of 6 restrictive measures including restriction on economic cooperation with Russia.

26-27 June 2014 – European Council conclusions

EU leaders set out four specific steps to be taken by Russia and the separatists for de-escalation. They also signed the Association Agreement with Ukraine.

23 June 2014 – Import ban on goods from Crimea

The Council adopted measures to implement the EU's policy of non-recognition of the illegal annexation of Crimea and decided on a ban on goods originating from Crimea or Sevastopol.

12 May 2014 – Agreement on a new set of sanctions

In light of the recent events in Eastern Ukraine and the illegal confiscation of entities in Crimea, the Council agreed on a new set of sanctions and took note of the preparatory work done by the Commission and Member States on possible targeted measures, as requested by the European Council in March.

15 April 2014 – Foreign Affairs Council focused on the situation in Eastern Ukraine

The Council decided to strengthen sanctions against persons responsible for misappropriating Ukrainian state funds and targeted additional individuals under the assets freeze and travel ban.

20-21 March 2014 – European Council focused on Ukraine crisis and further sanctions

Following the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol to the Russian Federation, 12 names were added to the list of Russian and Crimean officials subject to EU travel bans and asset freezes. In addition, the European Council cancelled a planned EU-Russia summit and noted that member states will not hold any bilateral regular summits with Russia.

EU leaders also requested the European Commission to prepare broader economic and trade sanctions that could be imposed if Russia further destabilises Ukraine.

17 March 2014 – Introduction of a first set of restrictive measures against 21 Russian and Ukrainian officials

EU ministers decided to introduce a first set of measures against 21 officials responsible for actions threatening Ukraine's territorial integrity.

6 March 2014 – Extraordinary meeting of EU Heads of State or Government on Ukraine

EU leaders condemned Russia's actions in Ukraine and decided to start preparing individual restrictive measures (assets freeze and travel bans).

The leaders confirmed the actions proposed by EU foreign ministers on 3 March, that is to suspend bilateral talks with the Russian Federation on visa matters and on the New Agreement.

3 March 2014 – Extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council on the situation in Ukraine

The EU and the member states who participate in the G8 decided to suspend the preparations for the G8 Summit in Sochi in June and considered possible consequences for bilateral EU-Russia relations.

Furthermore, the Council agreed to swiftly work on the adoption of restrictive measures for the freezing and recovery of assets of persons identified as responsible for the misappropriation of Ukrainian state funds.

Review process of EU restrictive measures - 'sanctions'

All restrictive measures in force are kept under constant review to ensure that they continue contributing towards their stated objectives.

UN Security Council Resolutions

Restrictive measures adopted in implementation of UN Security Council Resolutions do not have an end date. They are amended or lifted without delay, following a decision by the UN to that effect.

"Mixed" sanctions regimes

They are also open-ended in time. They are reviewed at least every 12 months.

Autonomous restrictive measures

Council decisions imposing EU autonomous restrictive measures apply for 12 months, while the corresponding Council regulation is open-ended.

Before deciding to extend the Council decision, the Council will review the restrictive measures. Depending on the evolution of the situation, the Council can decide at any time to amend, extend or temporarily suspend them.

Request for lifting of restrictive measures

Listed persons and entities also have the possibility of submitting a request to the Council, together with supporting documentation, that the decision to list them should be reconsidered, to the following address:

Council of the European Union

General Secretariat

DG C 1C

Rue de la Loi/Wetstraat 175

1048 Bruxelles/Brussel

BELGIQUE/BELGIË

Finally, listed persons and entities have the possibility of challenging the Council's decision before the General Court of the European Union, in accordance with the conditions laid down in Article 275, 2nd paragraph, and Article 263, 4th and 6th paragraphs, of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

Last update: 16 March 2017

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