EU Council decides to extend economic sanctions against Russia for six months
The political decision of the Council of the European Union on extending EU economic sanctions against Russia was formalized by the legal decision of the Council on December 21.
President of the European Council Donald Tusk at a press conference at the EU summit on December 13 said that German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron had also provided information on the status of implementation of the Minsk Agreements, and "the EU unanimously prolongs economic sanctions against Russia given zero progress in implementation of the Minsk Agreements."
The decision to extend the sanctions that expire on January 31, 2019 will take effect after publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
These restrictive measures were originally introduced on July 31, 2014 for a period of one year "in response to Russia's actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine." They were reinforced in September 2014. On March 19, 2015, the European Council linked the duration of the sanctions with the full implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
The measures concern financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as dual-use goods.