The measures target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They were originally introduced on 31 July 2014 for one year in response to Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine and strengthened in September 2014.
On 17 May 2019, the Council established a framework which allows the EU to impose targeted restrictive measures to deter and respond to cyber-attacks which constitute an external threat to the EU or its member states, including cyber-attacks against third States or international organisations where restricted measures are considered necessary to achieve the objectives of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Today the Council decided to prolong the restrictive measures against Belarus for one year, until 28 February 2020. These measures include an embargo on arms and on equipment that could be used for internal repression as well as an asset freeze and travel ban against four people designated in connection with the unresolved disappearances of two opposition politicians, one businessman and one journalist in 1999 and in 2000.
The Council added eleven prominent businessmen and five entities to the list of those subject to restrictive measures against the Syrian regime and its supporters. These businessmen and companies are involved in luxury estate development and other regime-backed projects, and as such support and/or benefit from the Syrian regime.
The Council added nine persons to the list of those subject to restrictive measures over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine. They are listed because of their involvement in the so called ‘elections’ in the so called ‘Donetsk People’s Republic’ and ‘Luhansk People’s Republic’. Through their actions, they further undermined the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine
Speech delivered by Commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality Věra Jourová on behalf of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy/Vice-President of the Commission Federica Mogherini, during the European Parliament Debate on the extraterritorial effects of US sanctions on Iran for European companies