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EU’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia comes into force

The European Union prolonged sanctions against Russia for another six months

BRUSSELS, July 9. /TASS/. The European Union’s decision to extend sanctions on Russia for another six months has come into force on Monday. The decision was published in the Official Journal of the European Union.

According to the document, the decision made by the Council of the European Union "concerning restrictive measures" against Russia "shall apply until January 31, 2019" and "shall enter into force on the day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union."

The decision followed the European Union’s summit where France and Germany informed other EU member states about the implementation of the Minsk Agreements. Great Britain called for the EU to start extending sanctions against Russia for a year instead of six months but the Council of the European Union did not support this suggestion.

Sanctions against Russia

The European Union earlier imposed several sanction packages on Moscow, which include economic sanctions, individual restrictions and Crimea-related sanctions.

Sectoral sanctions, initially levied on July 31, 2014, concern financial, energy and defense industries, as well as dual-use goods. Economic sanctions particularly restrict access to the 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 Russia’s three biggest energy companies and three defense companies.

Sanctions also impose an embargo on weapons trade and ban exports of dual-use goods for military purposes to Russia, as well as restrict Russia’s access to certain strategic technologies and services that may be used for oil exploration and production.

There are also two sanction packages which concern the Ukrainian crisis. One of the packages includes restrictive measures against 150 Russian individuals and 38 entities. This particular package will expire on September 15, 2018, but it also can be extended for six months.

Another sanction package relates to Crimea. It includes a ban on importing Crimean goods, making investments in Crimea, including real estate purchases, financing businesses, providing services, particularly in the tourism industry. European vessels are banned from entering Crimean ports, while European aircraft are prohibited from landing at Crimea’s airports, except for emergency reasons. These measures are extended for 12 months.