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The EU's sanctions against Moscow include three independent parts: visa restrictions against Russian citizens, economic sector sanctions against enterprises, and restrictive measures against the Crimea. All three packages were introduced in 2014 and with the non-Crimea sanctions extended twice a year and the Crimea sanctions once a year.
The European Council announced on Thursday that the sanctions will remain in force until January 31, 2019.
"This decision follows an update from President Macron and Chancellor Merkel to the European Council of 28-29 June 2018 on the state of implementation of the Minsk agreements, to which the sanctions are linked," the Council said in a statement.
According to the document, the Council adopted the decision by written procedure and, "in line with the rule for all such decisions, unanimously."
Addressing the issue, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova said EU leaders had missed a chance to change their relations with Moscow.
"We are considering the political decision taken by EU heads of states and governments to prolong unilateral sanctions against our country in the economic and financial area as yet another missed opportunity to constructively rethink EU foreign policy approach to Russia," Zakharova said at a briefing.
2018.07.05 / 20:15