EU extends economic sanctions against Russia by six months

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The EU has extended until 31 January 2021 restrictive measures against Russia that target the financial, energy and defence sectors, as well as the area of dual‑use goods.

What has happened

The Council of the European Union has decided to renew sanctions targeting some economic sectors of Russia for another six months, until the end of January next year.

What does this mean

The sanctions limit access to EU capital markets for certain Russian banks and companies and prohibit forms of financial assistance and brokering towards Russian financial institutions.

They also prohibit the import, export or transfer of all defence-related material and ban dual-use goods which may have military use or could be used by military end users in Russia.

Further, the measures curtail Russian access to certain sensitive technologies that can be used in the Russian energy sector, such as oil production and exploration.

This decision follows the latest assessment of the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements at the video conference of the Council on 19 June 2020. Since full implementation has not yet been achieved, EU leaders decided to roll over the economic sanctions against Russia.

Since March 2014, the EU has imposed a variety of restrictive measures against Russia in response to its illegal annexation of Crimea from Ukraine, including diplomatic measures, asset freezes and travel restrictions, economic sanctions or restriction on economic co-operation.

In March 2015, the EU decided to align the existing sanctions regime to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which was foreseen to take place by the end of December 2015.

However, since this did not happen, the Council extended the economic sanctions until the end of July 2016. Since 1 July 2016, the sanctions have been extended for six months successively.

In a separate decision, earlier this month, the Council decided to renew the sanctions introduced following the annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol by Russia until 23 June 2021.

The restrictive measures currently in place include prohibitions targeting the imports of products originating in Crimea or Sevastopol into the EU, and infrastructural or financial investments and tourism services in Crimea or Sevastopol.

Further, the exports of certain goods and technologies to Crimean companies or for use in Crimea in the transport, telecommunications and energy sectors or for the prospection, exploration and production of oil, gas and mineral resources are also subject to EU restrictions.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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