EU bans investment in Crimea, targets oil
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[December 18, 2014]
By Adrian Croft and Robin Emmott
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union
banned investment in Crimea on Thursday, halting European help for
Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration and outlawing European cruise
ships from calling at Crimean ports.
The new measures, which EU governments have signed off on and will
take effect on Saturday, reinforce the EU's policy of not
recognizing Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in March.
EU leaders, who meet in Brussels later on Thursday, will pledge to
keep up pressure on Russia over its role in Ukraine despite Russia's
currency crisis and ailing economy, diplomats said.
The EU is outlawing investment in Crimea, preventing Europeans and
EU-based companies from buying real estate or companies in Crimea or
financing Crimean companies, the bloc said in a statement.
As Reuters reported on Dec. 10, the new measure bars EU companies
from exporting goods and technology used in the exploration and
production of oil, gas and minerals in Crimea as well as for the
transport, telecommunications and energy sectors.
European companies are also prohibited from offering technical
assistance, brokering, construction or engineering services related
to infrastructure in the same sectors.
Companies will no longer be allowed to offer tourism services in
Crimea. European cruise ships may no longer call at ports in the
Crimean peninsula, except in an emergency.
The measure applies to all ships owned or controlled by a European
or flying the flag of an EU member state. Existing cruise contracts
may be still be honored until March 20.
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The 28-nation EU has previously banned the import of goods from
Crimea and barred new investment in infrastructure projects in the
transport, telecommunications and energy sectors and investing in
oil and gas ventures.
The annexation of Crimea gave Russia rich oil and gas resources in
the Black Sea, depriving Ukraine of energy resources. Russian
state-owned energy company Gazprom has proposed to develop Crimea's
oil and gas sector.
(Reporting by Adrian Croft and Robin Emmott; Editing by Larry King)
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