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EU extends economic sanctions against Russia for six months

The sanctions have been prolonged until 31 January 2019

BRUSSELS, July 5. /TASS/. The European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia expiring at the turn of July by six months, press service of the EU Council said on Thursday.

"On 5 July 2018, the Council prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 January 2019," the statement says.

The decision followed the EU summit, where leaders of France and Germany informed other heads of states about the implementation status of Minsk Agreements. It will be published in the Official Journal of the EU on Monday, July 9, and will be effective since that time.

The European Union earlier imposed several sanctions packages against Moscow: economic sanctions, individual restrictions and Crimea-related sanctions.

Sectoral sanctions were initially levied on July 31, 2014, and covered financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as dual-use goods. Economic sanctions include restricted access to EU’s primary and secondary capital markets for five Russian financial institutions and their subsidiaries founded outside the European Union, in which the state holds a majority stake, as well as for three biggest Russian energy companies and three defense firms.

They also include embargoed weapons trade and ban on exports of dual-use goods for military purposes to Russia, as well as restricted access to certain strategic technologies and services that may be used for oil exploration and production, for Russia.