The EU foreign policy chief says Brussels has agreed to impose new sanctions against Crimea, stressing the bloc will not recognize its reunification with the Russian Federation.
Federica Mogherini made the announcement on Monday after the first meeting of the EU-Ukraine Association Council in the EU’s de facto capital, Brussels.
The new sanctions set to be announced on December 18 will reportedly include forbidding EU firms from investing in the region and prohibiting the trade of EU oil and gas exploration technologies.
In addition, Mogherini said that during the council meeting the EU confirmed that it plans not to ever recognize Crimea’s integration with the Russian Federation.
The EU has already imposed a number of sanctions against Crimean, Russian and other pro-Russia figures following a decision by Ukraine’s then autonomous region of Crimea to re-join the Russian Federation earlier this year.
Crimea declared independence from Ukraine on March 17 and formally applied to become part of Russia following a referendum a day earlier in which 96.8 percent of the participants voted in favor of the secession. The voter turnout in the referendum stood at 83.1 percent.
The reunification fuelled pro-Russian protests in the eastern regions of Ukraine. The Western-backed Kiev government launched military operations in mid-April to silence the protests.
Violence intensified in May after the eastern Donetsk and Lugansk regions held local referendums in which their residents voted overwhelmingly in favor of independence from Ukraine.
According to a newly-released report by the United Nations, more than 4,700 civilians have been killed and over 10,000 others injured during the violence.
Kiev and pro-Russia forces recently agreed to stop fighting under the terms of a ceasefire brokered by Russia.
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