The gathering of European Union foreign ministers on Monday in Luxembourg resulted in the extension of sanctions against Russia. The sanctions had been imposed because of the country’s invasion of Ukraine, an EU spokeswoman stated, and will now be continued.
The sanctions began a year ago to punish Russia shortly after its troops moved over the border in Crimea and re-took the area that in Soviet times was a Russian enclave. While Russia has denied involvement, the world almost immediately saw through the thinly disguised Russian troops, tanks, armored vehicles and sophisticated missile systems.
The sanctions mean the assets of some Russian companies and individuals will remain frozen and travel bans will remain in place against certain officials.
A Kremlin spokesman, predictably, condemned the extension.
“Russia, naturally, considers these sanctions to be unfounded and illegal, and we have never been the instigators of sanction measures,” said spokesman Dmitry Peskov.
In typically deluded Russian thinking, likely driven by its increasingly irrational dictator Vladimir Putin, Peskov said Russia would respond by extending its own sanctions against the European Union, including restrictions on the import to Russia of foodstuffs from the EU.
Given the EU imports very little to Russia, the sanctions aren’t exactly offsetting.
The sanctions continue to wreak havoc on the Russian economy, which is struggling with high unemployment, a falling Ruble and low oil prices. Oil and related products are Russia’s main export.