The Council of the European Union has extended the sanctions against Russia for the annexation of the Crimea until June 2020. The representative of Ukraine in the EU, Ambassador to Belgium Mykola Tochytskyi wrote about this in Twitter, Ukrainian News Agency reports. "I welcome the decision of @EUCouncil to extend the "Crimean" sanctions until June 2020. The recent "sentences" of the Russian courts on the cases of the Crimean Tatars have shown that the occupied Crimea has become a "gray zone" where human rights guarantees do not work," he wrote. Tochytskyi added that increasing international pressure on Russia is key to the de-occupation of the Crimea. Earlier, a number of media outlets citing their sources reported on the approval by the EU permanent representatives of the extension of sanctions against Russia due to the illegal annexation of the Crimea until June 23, 2020. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, in June 2018, the EU Council extended sanctions against Russia in the form of retaliatory measures against the annexation of Crimea until June 23, 2019. Since June 2014, the EU Council has taken restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of the Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia.