EU extends Russia sanctions for another 6 months

AP News
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Posted: Dec 21, 2015 11:35 AM

BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union has renewed its economic sanctions against Russia for six months, after concluding that Moscow has failed to fully respect a peace agreement in eastern Ukraine.

The sanctions target Russia's financial, energy and defense sectors as well as some dual-use goods.

The EU Council said in a statement Monday that the measures have been prolonged until July 31 while it assesses Russian compliance with the Minsk peace agreement.

Despite a cease-fire declared in February, Ukraine says it still has not regained complete control over its border with Russia and that Russian-backed rebels are not respecting the cease-fire conditions.

The Russian foreign ministry accused the EU of punishing Russia for a problem that Europe created in the first place by trying to seal an agreement on closer ties with Ukraine.

"The situation will change if the European Union works with Kiev properly, pushing it toward implementation of the Minsk package," it said in a statement.

The EU separately has imposed visa bans and asset freezes targeting several associates of President Vladimir Putin and others involved in Russia's annexation of Crimea.