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Parliamentary questions
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29 March 2019
E-006474/2018(ASW)
Answer given by Vice-President Mogherini on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-006474/2018

EU restrictive measures were imposed in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol and Russia's actions in destabilising the situation in eastern Ukraine. In March 2015, the European Council linked the duration of the economic sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements. The measures provide a strong signal of the EU's support for Ukraine's sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity and their objective is to encourage Russia to adopt a constructive approach. The security situation in Ukraine remains volatile, and complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements has not yet been achieved, as assessed lately by the European Council in December 2018.

The Commission regularly assesses the economic impact of the EU measures and the retaliatory sanctions imposed by Russia in the agro-food sector. The spill-over effect of restrictive measures on Russia on the EU economy have remained contained and manageable overall. Despite the difficulties caused by the Russian ban, the EU agri-food sector has shown a remarkable resilience and most of the affected sectors were able to find alternative markets. Since 2013, i.e. prior to the introduction of the Russian ban, overall EU agri-food exports to third countries have significantly grown reaching a remarkable level of EUR 137.4 billion in 2018.

It remains exceedingly difficult to quantify the isolated impact of sanctions on the Russian economy, particularly as these measures coincided with the emergence of broader economic headwinds (i.e. existing structural impediment to growth, oil prices fluctuations, rouble depreciation) which resulted in a significant slowdown of the Russian economy in 2014 and a relatively subdued recovery ever since.

Last updated: 2 April 2019Legal notice