December 21, 2015. The European Union has extended the economic sanctions against Russia over the situation in Ukraine for six months. The decision was adopted by the Council of the European Union today, December 21, press service of the Council of the EU reports.

“December 21, 2015, the Council of the EU extended economic sanctions against Russia until July 31, 2016,” the agency reports.

The document reads that the original sanctions were imposed for a period of one year until July 31, 2015 "in response to Russia's actions in eastern Ukraine."

However, on June 22, 2015, the Council of the EU had already extended the restrictive measures until January 31, 2016.

These decisions related to the fact that the EU leaders agreed to coordinated the duration of the sanctions with the full realization of the Minsk Agreement in March 2015.

“However, since the Minsk agreement will not be fully implemented as at December 31, 2015, the duration of the sanctions has been extended, while the Council continues to assess progress in the implementation (of the Minsk Agreement - Ed.),” reads the statement of the Council of the EU’s press service.

Moreover, the press service noted that the measures, initially imposed in July 2014, were reinforced in September 2014.

“They affect some exchanges with Russia in the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as in the field of dual-use goods,” reads the statement.