The European Union has extended until July 31, 2019, economic sanctions against Russia related to the country's banking, financial, and energy sectors.

"On 21 December 2018, the Council prolonged the economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until 31 July 2019," the European Council says on its website.

The decision follows an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of Dec 13-14, 2018, on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked.

Given that no progress has been made, the European Council took the political decision to roll-over the economic sanctions against Russia.

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"The Council adopted this decision today by written procedure and, in line with the rule for all such decisions, unanimously," the statement reads.

As UNIAN reported earlier, the sanctions targeting certain sectors of Russian economy were originally introduced on July 31, 2014. In March 2015, the EU decided to link those sanctions to the implementation of Minsk agreements on Donbas settlement. Since then, the EU has repeatedly prolonged the sanctions for 6 months.