EU agrees to extend Russia blacklist over Ukraine turmoil

The list covers mostly Russian nationals and companies, as well as pro-Moscow Ukrainian entries

European Union envoys on Wednesday agreed to prolong the bloc’s blacklist of people and entities involved in Russia’s detribalisation of Ukraine for another six months. The blacklist will run to 154 people and 44 entities subject to an EU travel ban and asset freeze, once the leader of the Russian-backed rebels in eastern Ukraine, Alexander Zakharchenko, who was killed in a cafeteria blast last week, is removed, diplomats said. 

The formal extension of the sanctions until mid-March is expected to be completed in the coming days, diplomats said.

The bloc also has economic sanctions in place against Moscow for annexing Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and for backing rebels facing off against Kiev in the east of the country. Given the delicate balance between Russia hawks in the EU’s north and east, and those in the west and the south who would want to seek more business ties with Moscow, the bloc is likely to keep on extending the sanctions for now.

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