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• A significant and expanding sanctions regime against certain Russian individuals and companies and against certain Ukrainians has been in place since March 2014

• The downing of the Malaysian Airlines flight increased tensions

• The EU announced broad economic (‘tier three’) sanctions against Russia on 29 July 2014 including restrictions on some state-controlled Russian banks’ ability to borrow money in EU financial markets and an arms embargo

• The EU also imposed a ban on the export of technology for the extraction of oil from deep sea, Arctic and shale deposits

• The US increased the range of its sanctions on the same day

• Targeted sanctions were added to in September and November 2014 and January 2015

• As violence escalated in eastern Ukraine in early 2015, both the EU and the US indicated that the option of arming the Ukrainian government remained open.

• Reaction has been mixed, with some commentators arguing that sanctions will weaken critics of nationalistic policies in Russia

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