EU foreign ministers agreed Monday to ban imports from Crimea, reiterating that the European Union would never recognise Russia's "illegal" annexation of Ukraine territory.
Ministers "decided to prohibit the import into the EU of goods originating from Crimea or Sevastopol," unless the Ukraine government certified them, a statement said.
The EU has steadily expanded sanctions against Russians and Ukrainians implicated in the annexation of Crimea, hitting them with asset freezes and travel bans.
However, it has stopped short of broader punitive measures against specific economic sectors such as banks or the energy sector for fear that in hitting Russia, they would also hurt many in Europe.
Washington has pressed the EU to do more as part of efforts to get Moscow to change course in Ukraine and EU leaders meeting later this week will discuss once again whether to take tougher steps in light of Russia's response to a Kiev peace plan.