On 27 June 2019, the European Council unanimously agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia until 31 January 2020, in light of the lack of implementation of the Minsk Agreements. These economic sanctions target Russia’s financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods.

The sanctions were originally imposed on 31 July 2014 for a period of one year (strengthened in September 2014), in reaction to Russia’s actions to destabilise the situation in Ukraine and 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

Chancellor Merkel and President Macron updated the European Council of 20-21 June 2019 on the state of implementation of the Minsk Agreements and, following this, the European Council called for an urgent resumption of negotiating efforts in order to implement the agreements. The Minsk Agreements are aimed at rebuilding confidence among the parties.