The sanctions were initially introduced for one year on 31 July 2014, in response to Russia’s aggression in eastern Ukraine. On 22 June 2015, the Council prolonged the duration of the measures by six months until 31 January 2016, Joinfo.ua reports with reference to the EU Council press release.
The EU prolonged the sanctions, because Russia did not complete implementation of the Minsk agreements, which was foreseen to take place by December 31, 2015.
However, since the Minsk agreements will not be fully implemented by December 31, 2015, the duration of the sanctions has been prolonged whilst the Council continues its assessment of progress in implementation.
The measures originally imposed in July 2014 were reinforced in September 2014. They target certain exchanges with Russia in the financial, energy and defense sectors and in the area of dual-use goods.