Restrictive measures, as a synonym for 'sanctions', are an essential tool of the EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). They are used by the EU as part of an integrated and comprehensive policy approach to regional stability. Since March 2014, the EU has progressively imposed restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and deliberate destabilization of Ukraine. On 19 December 2016, European Union leaders made decisions to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the turmoil in Ukraine until mid-2017. The aim of this paper is to explore the effectiveness of the EU sanctions policy against Russia. This paper proceeds as follows: the first section discusses the issue of economic sanctions effectiveness from a theoretical perspective. The second section summarizes the development of EU sanctions policy since Lisbon Treaty. Third section seeks to reflect on the main moves toward increased effectiveness in documents, published in 2014-2016, creating a new form of European sanctions policy against Kremlin. It also deals with additional issues concerning effectiveness, arising after 2006 with the application of the first economic sanctions regimes reformed in the 1990s. Restrictive measures fulfil a number of functions in foreign policy and positively contribute to shape the EU's external relations, through empirical analysis.
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