On 21 December 2015, the Council extended the EU sectoral sanctions currently in place against Russia until 31 July 2016 by Council Decision (CFSP) 2015/2431 (see here). The decision was reached on the basis that a complete implementation of the Minsk Agreement would not be achieved by 31 December 2015.

The EU imposed economic sanctions on Russia in July 2014 (the “July measures”)1, as a consequence of Russia’s actions destabilising the situation in the Ukraine. The restrictive measures targeted specific sectors of the Russian economy such as the financial, energy and the military sectors (see our previous e-briefing here). The July measures were subsequently extended in September 2014 in view of the gravity of the situation2 and updated in December 2014 to ensure uniform application in all Member States.3

Prior to July 2014, the European Union had already introduced asset freezes and visa bans against persons involved in actions threatening Ukraine’s territorial integrity following Russia’s illegal annexation of Crimea.