Foreign ministers claiming allegiance to the European Union decided to renew sanctions imposed on Russia while in Luxembourg in the wake of its activities in Crimea and eastern Ukraine. The sanctions imposed on Russia are now extended till January. The act drew criticism from Russian quarters.
The support extended by Russia to separatists harping for a separate Ukraine. The sanctions are to include freezing all assets belonging to some Russian companies besides imposition of ban on traveling on some officials.
Russia has not taken the move lightly. The European Union countries supplying foodstuffs to Russia are going to suffer the most in the wake of restrictions on their import into Russia. The economy in these countries is going to be effected. The tax-payers are going to suffer the most.
The future of Ukraine is at stake in view of the tussle between the US and Russia. There is a strife between Ukrainian speakers who want to inch closer to the European Union, and ethnic Russians who want Ukraine to be a part of Russia.
The tangle can be traced to the refusal of former Ukranian President Viktor Yanukovych to ink an agreement on cementing ties with the EU. His affinity with Russia was surprising. His decisions led to protests following which he had to quit office in February 2014. But it did not solve the problem at any end.
Sanctions have been put into effect since July 2014. They were strengthened in September 2014. They were due to expire in July 2015, but have now been extended till January 31, 2016.
The sanctions put limits on the Russian access to certain financial markets. The sanctions extend to the exchange of technologies between the EU and Russia. They cover restrictions in the defence sector too.