EU imposes visa ban and asset freeze on Ukraine as troubles escalate

3 March 2014

Targeted sanctions, including an asset freeze and visa ban for certain individuals wanting to visit the UK, has been introduced by the EU Foreign Affairs Council as Ukraine violence increases amid growing civil unrest and political turmoil.

Action has also been taken by members of the EU Foreign Affairs Council to suspend, for the time being, all export licenses to Ukraine for equipment which could be used for internal repression.

The action came as British Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking in Kiev, warned that the turmoil in Ukraine is the "biggest crisis" to face Europe in the 21st Century and warned that, if Russia does not withdraw its troops from the Crimea, which it controls, there would be "significant costs".

In another related move, the Export Control Organisation has said that it is reviewing whether it is necessary to revoke, suspend or amend any additional existing licences which could relate to equipment which may be used for internal repression.

In a statement The Export Control Organisation said that it is also studying existing export licences where the proposed transfer may not meet the requirements of the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria which includes an assessment of exports which would “provoke or prolong” armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions.

The statement added: “Exporters should be aware that there is still a good degree of uncertainty as to how the situation in the Ukraine will develop. This may result in longer processing times for export licence applications for the Ukraine.”

For general export control queries please contact the ECO Helpline on 020 7215 4594 or

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