Russian gov’t proposes extension of countermeasures against European Union sanctions

Russian gov’t proposes extension of countermeasures against European Union sanctions

EU leaders made a decision to extend the sanctions after French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel updated the European Council on the implementation of the Minsk agreements at last week’s summit in Brussels.

The Council of the European Union officially prolonged economic sanctions targeting specific sectors of Russia’s economy by six months until January 31, 2018, according to a statement published on Wednesday.

The sanctions were first introduced over the crisis in Ukraine and the Crimea reunification in 2014. Last time, the anti-Russian economic sanctions were extended in January 2017 until July 31.

EU’s economic sanctions on Russian Federation came in July 2014, after Brussels said Russia-backed rebels shot down Malaysia Airlines flight MH17, an incident which contained a heavy loss of life. The sanctions also include an export and import ban on arms sales and limit Russia’s access to technology that can be used for oil production.

In response, the Kremlin imposed an embargo on European Union agricultural produce, food and raw materials. Medvedev said the ban will help create incentives for Russian farmers.

They are different than a set of other sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russian Federation after Crimea, a former Ukrainian territory, joined Russian Federation in 2014. Moscow says the counter-sanctions are helping spur the development of Russian agriculture. “The farmers repeatedly asked us to extend the food embargo”, he said.