Since March 2014, the European Union has continuously levied various forms economic sanctions against Russia. Initial injunctions were imposed in response to Russia's forced annexation of Crimea and the consequential violence that ensued in Ukraine. These measures included asset freezes and travel restrictions on certain prominent officials, bans on imported goods, investment, and tourism services to and from Crimea, and restrictions on economic cooperation. Russia retaliated in August 2014 with a food embargo on all other nations that joined in sanctioning Russia, including the United States. Since the introductory sanctions, both sides have held firm in their restrictions and have often taken measures to extend them. The EU is the latest to do this, having recently extended their asset freeze and travel ban policies.
The asset freeze and travel blacklist targets 150 prominent Russian citizens—government officials, business people, and miscellaneous people—who have all either shown support for Russian efforts in Ukraine or are directly connected to the illegal actions. The policy also targets 37 entities, including businesses, arms manufacturers, and banks, who are similarly linked to the Crimean conflict. This particular measure was introduced within the first round of sanctions on March 2014, and has been renewed every six months since then. Extended last in March 2016, the sanctions were scheduled to end in September before being prolonged once again. Like several other EU sanctions, these measures will hold until early 2017.
If the conflict in the Ukraine continues, the multiple sanctions against Russia will also hold. Despite global support, the Ukraine's immediate future remains uncertain.