The EU has extended economic sanctions against Russia that it initially enacted in 2014, until January 31, 2019, the European Council said on Thursday.
The measures target the financial, energy and defense sectors, and the area of dual-use goods, the council said in a statement.
“They [the sanctions] were originally introduced on 31 July 2014 for one year in response to Russia’s actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine and strengthened in September 2014,” it said.
The council noted that the decision includes limiting access to EU primary and secondary capital markets for 5 major Russian majority state-owned financial institutions and their majority-owned subsidiaries established outside of the bloc, along with three major Russian energy and three defense companies.
The measures consist of imposing an export and import ban on trade in arms, establishing an export ban for dual-use goods for military use or military end users in Russia.
The council said the measures also includes curtailing Russian access to certain sensitive technologies and services that can be used for oil production and exploration.
Ukraine has been wracked by conflict since March 2014 following Russia’s annexation of Crimea after an illegal independence vote.
“The duration of the sanctions was linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements by the European Council on 19 March 2015, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015. Since this did not happen, the sanctions have remained in place,” it said.