EU Leaders Agree to Extend Economic Sanctions Against Russia

European Union leaders agreed on Friday to extend until the end of January next year their economic sanctions against Russia over its 2014 annexation of Crimea and the turmoil in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported.

The EU hit Russia’s energy, financial and arms sectors over Moscow’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, and prolonged them repeatedly as the Kremlin vows not to return the peninsula to Kyiv and a frozen conflict has taken hold in Ukraine’s east.

An EU leaders’ summit on Friday agreed to “proceed with the rollover of the sanctions” for another six months from the end of July, said the meeting chairman, Charles Michel.

Kyiv welcomed the move, saying there should be no respite in sanctions for as long as the stalled peace deal for east Ukraine – called the Minsk agreements – is not honoured.

“Since 2014, EU sanctions policy has helped deter Russian aggression against Ukraine. Sanctions send a clear signal: Russia needs to fully implement Minsk agreements,” said Ukraine’s Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba.

The European Union introduced sanctions against Russia in view of the developments in Ukraine and reunification of Crimea and Russia in 2014. Restrictions were repeatedly expanded since then, TASS adds.

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