© EPA/Patrick Seeger

BRUSSELS, 28 June. /TASS/. The EU Council formally extended the anti-Russian economic sanctions for six months, until 31 January 2018. This is stated in a statement issued on Wednesday.

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“The formal decision to extend by six months the economic prohibitive measures against the Russian Federation accepted”, – stated in the document. “This decision followed the report of the President [of France Emmanuel] Macron and Chancellor [of Germany Angels] Merkel at the EU summit on June 22-23 on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. This opened the way to extending the sanctions for another six months. The Council [of the EU] today unanimously adopted a formal decision by written procedure”, – stated in the text .

This step is purely technical in nature: a political decision on the extension of sanctions was adopted on 22 June at the EU summit. The package of anti-Russian economic measures were last extended in January this year to July 31.

Sanctions policy of the EU includes three independent directions: the visa restrictions on Russian citizens (valid until September this year), economic sanctions against a number of Russian state companies in the oil, defense and financial sectors (extended to 31 January 2018), as well as restrictive measures against the Crimea (until 23 June 2018).