shutterstock.com On June 27, 2019, the EU Council prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of the Russian economy until January 31, 2020. This decision follows an update from German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron to the European Council of June 20-21, 2019, on the state of implementation of the Minsk Agreements, to which the decision as to maintain the sanctions is linked, according to the EU Council&#39;s press release published June 27. "Following this update, the European Council called for an urgent resumption of negotiating efforts with a view to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and for measures aimed at rebuilding confidence among the parties. In this context, EU leaders unanimously agreed to maintain the economic sanctions on Russia. The Council formalized this decision today by written procedure," the release reads. Read alsoU.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee backs sanctions against Russia&#39;s gas pipeline projects The measures target the financial, energy and defense sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They were originally introduced on 31 July 2014 for one year in response to Russia&#39;s actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and strengthened in September 2014. The duration of the economic sanctions was linked by the European Council on March 19, 2015, to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which was foreseen to take place by December 31, 2015. Since this did not happen, the sanctions have remained in place.