07 Jan 2019
The European Union has extended its economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019, citing a lack of progress in implementing an agreement over Moscow’s conflict with Ukraine.
The measures, which target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods, were originally introduced on 31 July 2014 for one year in response to Russia’s actions ‘destabilising the situation in Ukraine,’ and strengthened in September 2014.
The decision to further extend the measures “[comes] after an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of 13-14 December 2018 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked,” the Council of the EU said.
“Given that no progress has been made, the European Council took the political decision to roll-over the economic sanctions against Russia.”
The economic sanctions prolonged by this decision include:
• limiting access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for 5 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.
“The duration of the sanctions was linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements by the European Council on 19 March 2015, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015,” the Council explained.
“Since this did not happen, the sanctions have remained in place.”
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