The European Union will not extend sanctions imposed on three Russian businessmen over Russia’s war on Ukraine, which expire later this week, three diplomatic sources told Reuters today.

Western governments have imposed sweeping economic sanctions on Moscow, including a ban on oil imports, over its February 2022 invasion of Ukraine.

The three Russian businessmen are Grigory Berezhkin, billionaire Farhad Akhmedov and former head of online electronics company Ozon Alexander Shulgin.

The EU needs unanimity among its 27 member states to impose sanctions, which are renewed every six months. The next set of sanctions expires on September 15.

So far, nearly 1,600 individuals and more than 200 entities are on the EU sanctions list, which dates back to 2014, when Russia seized the Crimea region from Ukraine.

Akhmedov is active in Russia’s oil and gas sector, while Berezkin, who is part of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s inner circle, is active in a range of sectors, including media, infrastructure and energy, according to the official EU sanctions list.

Farhad Akhmedov, as reported by the BBC Russian service, who is ranked 99th in the Forbes list of Russian billionaires, was at the center of a scandal in March this year when a recorded conversation believed to be between him was leaked online himself and the producer Joseph Prigozhin. In their conversation, the two interlocutors harshly criticized the Russian leadership for the war Russia declared against Ukraine, which led to Russia’s isolation from the rest of the world.

The EU Council imposed sanctions on Shulgin on 8 April 2022 on the grounds that he was an “influential businessman” who attended a meeting with Vladimir Putin on the day Russia launched its invasion of Ukraine.

At the beginning of September it became known that the European Court decided to lift the sanctions against Alexander Shulgin. This was the first time that a European court had made such a decision regarding a Russian businessman.