14:55 Jul. 1, 2016
The restrictions have been renewed until January 2017
European Union has officially prolonged the sanctions against the Russian Federation, introduced in response to Moscow's aggression in Ukraine and illegal annexation of Crimea. The restrictions, targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy, will be active until 31 January 2017.
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The relevant decision has been published on the official website of the European Council. It is stated that the sanctions have been renewed due the absence of progress in the Minsk deal.
"Having assessed the implementation of the Minsk agreements, the Council decided to renew the sanctions for a further six months, until 31 January 2017", the message said.
The sanctions, initially imposed by the EU on July 31, 2014 and reinforced in September, have targeted financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian Federation. They also restrict the area of dual-use goods.
These measures were first supposed to be lifted in one year after they were imposed. Later the EU has connected them to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. Since then the sanctions have been prolonged several times.
The decision to renew the restrictions arrived amid growing opposition to this tactic within the EU.