This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
U.S. President Donald Trump has extended for one year a series of previously imposed sanctions on Russia over its actions in Ukraine, in particular, forcibly annexing the Crimean Peninsula and further destabilizing the country.
Trump’s executive order was signed on February 25 and includes a package of sanctions that have expanded in scope over time since March 6, 2014.
They were first introduced by the administration of former President Barack Obama and broadened three more times in 2014 as well as in 2018.
Russian President Vladimir Putin gave the order to invade Crimea in early 2014 after the Moscow-friendly Ukrainian president, Viktor Yanukovych, abandoned office and fled the country amid a popular uprising that opposed his increasingly corrupt and authoritarian rule.
Moscow then started supporting separatists in eastern Ukraine in a war that has killed more than 13,000 people and uprooted more than 1.5 people from their homes in the Luhansk and Donetsk regions.
Trump’s order says Russia’s actions, including its “purported annexation of Crimea and use of force in Ukraine…undermine democratic processes and institutions in Ukraine; threaten its peace, security, stability, sovereignty, and territorial integrity; and contribute to the misappropriation of asstes.”
To “deal with that emergency,” the sanctions “must continue in effect beyond March 6, 2020,” the executive order says.