The continuing conflict in eastern Ukraine prompted the European Council decision to prolong economic sanctions against Russia by six months to January 31.
The trade ban cuts Russia off from European funding sources, blocks arms trading, and restricts access to oil drilling technology. The sanctions aren’t expected to be lifted until the Minsk peace agreement — designed to end fighting in Ukraine — is completely implemented ,travel bans and asset freezes are also in place for certain Russian individuals and companies until September.
The move foreshadows more pain for Russia’s economy which has suffered under the weight of sanctions imposed by the U.S. and Europe last year.
In April, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev estimated that the total cost of the Western sanctions was just over $100 billion.