The European Union has extended its economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2016, keeping up the pressure on Moscow to comply with a ceasefire accord signed with Ukraine.
The decision came at a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg on Monday, BBC reported.
Ministers agreed on the extension of the sanctions due to “Russia’s destabilizing role in eastern Ukraine”, the EU was quoted as saying.
The aim is to make Russia comply with the Minsk ceasefire accord signed with Ukraine in February, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic tweeted.
EU and US sanctions target associates of President Vladimir Putin and Russian state banks, military and energy firms.
Russia condemned the move, and warned that it will respond reciprocally.
“Russia naturally considers these sanctions groundless, unlawful. And we have never been the initiators of the sanction measures,” Putin’s press secretary was quoted as saying.
EU sanctions were imposed on Russia after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. They have been escalated because of Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
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