Brussels, 29 June (EFE) .- The European Union (EU) extended this Monday for another six months, until January 31, 2021, the economic sanctions imposed on Russia for the country’s role in the separatist crisis in eastern Ukraine and for not having sufficiently implemented the Minsk peace agreements.
The sanctions were approved by the EU Council, the bloc’s main decision-making body and which is represented by the 27 member states.
The final decision to maintain sanctions was made after heads of state and government reached political agreement during the June 19 videoconference meeting.
The EU makes the end of sanctions on Russia conditional on full application of the Minsk agreements, which include the withdrawal of heavy weapons and respect for the ceasefire.
The restrictive measures were introduced by the European Union on July 31, 2014, initially for a period of one year, in response to “Russia’s destabilizing actions in Ukraine”, the Council recalled in a statement.
The punishments were hardened in September of the same year and have since been extended. The sanctions focus on the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as products for both civilian and military use.
These measures limit access to the EU’s primary and secondary capital markets to five major Russian financial entities – Sberbank, VTB Bank, Gazprombank, Vnesheconombank and Rosseljozbank – with majority state participation, established outside the EU. Three major Russian energy companies and three other defense companies are also affected.
In addition, a ban is imposed on the export and import of weapons and a veto on the export of dual-purpose products for military use and military users in Russia.
Russia’s access to certain technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration is also restricted. EFE
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