2nd January 2015

Foreign Affairs Council strengthens sanctions against Crimea

Meeting on 15 December, the EU foreign ministers presided by High Representative Federica Mogherini discussed a range of external issues. The ministers discussed the situation in Iraq and Syria and heard the comments of Mr Staffan de Mistura, a UN Special Envoy. The EU reiterated its commitment to fight ISIL and other terrorist groups. Moreover, the EU will prepare a comprehensive strategy for the region to serve as guidance for future decisions. The ministers also discussed Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) and its road towards EU membership. As part of a renewed approach towards BiH, the Council proposes that the Bosnian authorities make a written commitment to reforms required by the EU acquis to be endorsed by all relevant legislative and executive bodies. Once such a commitment is in place, the Council will decide on the entry into force of the Stabilization and Association Agreement with BiH. Concerning situation in Ukraine, the Council reiterated its refusal to recognise the annexation of Crimea by Russia. Ministers agreed to impose additional sanctions. These were finalized from a technical point of view in the following days and were approved through written procedures on 18 December. As a result, from 20 December, no EU-based company can invest in Crimea in any way.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic