"We see that after Ukraine and its Western partners’ strong reaction Russia has basically lifted the Azov Sea and Kerch Strait blockade. The next step has to be the release of our sailors illegally detained by Russian authorities. Futher on there should be the imposition of sanctions on Russian ports in the Azov and Black Sea regions," the minister said.
The EU sanctions were imposed on Russia on July 31, 2014 for one year period as a rection to an attempt to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. The sanctions were expanded in September 2014.
March 19, 2015, the European Council linked the sanctions duration with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements due to occur before Dec. 31, 2015. After Russia failed to implement the documents the sanctions continued to apply. Since then, the EU has been extending them every six months.
Dec. 21, 2018, the European Council extended economic sanctions against specific sectors of the Russian economy until July 31, 2019.