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EU extends economic sanctions on Russia by six months

U.S. dollars, euros and rubles.
U.S. dollars, euros and rubles. Source: (Yegor Aleyev/TASS/Scanapix)

The Council of the EU on Thursday decided to extend economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy through July 31, 2018.

This decision follows an update from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Dec. 14 European Council on the state of the implementation of the Minsk agreements, according to a Council press release.

The duration of the sanctions was linked on March 19, 2015 by the European Council to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was expected to take place by Dec. 31 of that year. As this did not happen, and due to the fact that the Minsk agreements still have yet to be fully implemented, the Council has decided to extend the sanctions by another six months.


The measures were originally introduced on July 31, 2014 for a period of one year in respons to Russia's destabilization of the situation in Ukraine. The measures, which were subsequently strengthened that September, target the financial, energy and defense sectors as well as the area of dual-use goods.

Economic sanctions prolonged by Thursday's decision include:

  • limiting access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for five major Russian majority state-owned financial institutions and their majority-oowned subsidiaries established outside of the EU, as well as three major Russian energy and three defense companies;
  • imposing export and import bans 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 ongoing crisis in Ukraine, including:

  • targeted individual restrictive measures, namely a visa ban and asset freeze, currently against 150 people and 38 entities, valid through March 15, 2018;
  • restrictive measures in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol, currently valid through June 23, 2018.


For more information on EU restrictive measures adopted against Russia in response to the latter's ongoing occupation of Crimea and destabilization of Ukraine, click here.

Editor: Aili Vahtla

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