European Union Leaders have collectively agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia until July 2018. These measures target the financial, energy and defence industries and would have otherwise expired at the end of January 2018. Angela Merkel has said that the European Union Leaders have prevented an escalation, but do not consider that enough progress has been made to remove the current sanctions. The EU, along with the United States, initially imposed these sanctions in the summer of 2014 over Moscow’s actions in Ukraine and these have been extended every 6 months since then. The sanctions are due for a further renewal in July 2018.