The EU imposed sanctions on Russia in July 2014 after Russia violated Ukraine's sovereignty by illegally annexing Crimea and Sevastopol and by sending fighters and weapons into eastern Ukraine. These sanctions don't target the Russian population but aim to change Russia's policy towards Ukraine.
On 19 March 2015, the European Council agreed to link the duration of the sanctions to the complete implementation of the Minsk Agreements, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015.
Today, following an update from French President Macron and German Chancellor Merkel on 22-23 June on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, all 28 EU Member States voted unanimously to prolong the sanctions until 31 December 2017.
The sanctions target the financial, energy and defence sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They include an export ban on arms and goods that can be used for military ends in Russia.