EU prolongs economic sanctions against Russia until January 31
The Council of the European Union on July 5, 2018, prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until January 31, 2019.
"The Council adopted this decision today by written procedure and, in line with the rule for all such decisions, unanimously," the Council said in a statement on the same day.
According to the statement, the decision follows an update from President of France Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Council of June 28-29, 2018 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked.
The measures target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They were originally introduced on July 31, 2014, for one year in response to Russia's actions destabilising the situation in Ukraine and strengthened in September 2014.
The economic sanctions prolonged by this decision include: limiting access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for five major Russian majority state-owned financial institutions and their majority-owned subsidiaries established outside of the EU, as well as three major Russian energy and three defence companies; imposing an export and import ban on trade in arms; establishing an export ban for dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia; curtailing Russian access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration.
In addition to these economic sanctions, several EU measures are also in place in response to the crisis in Ukraine including: targeted individual restrictive measures, namely a visa ban and an asset freeze, currently against 155 people and 38 entities until September 15, 2018; restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, limited to the territory of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently in place until June 23, 2019.
The duration of the sanctions was linked by the European Council on March 19, 2015, to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen to take place by December 31, 2015. Since this did not happen, the sanctions have remained in place.