The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Ukraine welcomes the political decision of the European Council to extend the economic and sectoral sanctions against the Russian Federation for another six months.

"We regard this decision as another powerful signal of EU support for the Ukrainian leadership's efforts within the framework of the Normandy format and the Trilateral Contact Group aimed at restoring territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine," the ministry's press service reported.

Read alsoEU extends economic sanctions against Russia for another six monthsIn the context of the "obvious lack of intentions" on the part of the Russian side to follow the path of full implementation of all Minsk agreements, consolidated political pressure on the Russian Federation from the EU in the form of restrictive measures (sanctions) is fundamentally important, diplomats note.

"In case of continued Russian aggression against Ukraine, sanctions need to be tightened," the foreign ministry said.

EU sanctions against Russia

On July 31, 2014, the European Union imposed economic sanctions against Russia aimed at specific sectors of the economy.

In March 2015, EU leaders decided to link these sanctions to the implementation of the Minsk peace agreements on Donbas. Since then, the EU has repeatedly extended these sanctions for the next six months. The latest time the sanctions were extended in June 2020 until January 31, 2021. The restrictive measures concern the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian Federation, as well as dual-use goods.

They are also designed to restrict access to the EU's primary and secondary capital markets for five leading Russian financial institutions with a majority share of state ownership in their charter capital and their subsidiaries created outside the EU with a controlling stake. In addition, the sanctions were applied to three leading Russian energy and three defense companies.

An export and import ban is applicable to arms trade, a ban is imposed on exports of dual-use goods for military use or for end consumers of military goods in Russia. Russia also has limited access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for the development and prospecting of crude oil fields.

On December 10, leaders of European Union member states decided to extend the economic sanctions against Russia in the banking, financial and energy sectors for another six months.