EU approves fresh sanctions on Crimea

BrusselsThe European Union (EU) Thursday imposed "substantial" additional sanctions on investment, services and trade on Crimea and Sevastopol, saying investment in Crimea or Sevastopol is outlawed from Dec 20.

"This is to reinforce the EU`s policy of not recognising their illegal annexation by Russia and follows a conclusion by the Foreign Affairs Council of Nov 17," Xinhua quoted an official EU statement as saying.

The fresh sanctions mean that Europeans and EU-based companies may no more buy real estate or entities in Crimea, finance Crimean companies or supply related services.

In addition, EU operators will no more be permitted to offer tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol.

In particular, European cruise ships may no more call at ports in the Crimean peninsula, except in case of emergency. This applies to "all ships owned or controlled by a European" or "flying the flag of a member state", while the existing cruise contracts may still be honoured until March 20.

It has also been prohibited to export certain goods and technology concerning transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or the exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources, to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea.

"Technical assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related to infrastructure in the same sectors must not be provided," the statement added.

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