Ukraine's leader urges EU to extend sanctions against Russia

AP News
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Posted: Dec 02, 2016 10:39 AM
Ukraine's leader urges EU to extend sanctions against Russia

WARSAW, Poland (AP) — Ukraine's President Petro Poroshenko urged the European Union on Friday to extend sanctions against Russia, which he says continues its armed aggression in eastern Ukraine against international agreements.

Poroshenko was in Poland for talks and to sign deals on strengthening cooperation in the defense and energy sectors, including discussing ways to improve roads and infrastructure near border crossings.

The visit marked 25 years since Poland became the first nation in the world to recognize an independent Ukraine, which had been a part of the former Soviet Union.

Poroshenko said the EU should decide in January to extend its economic and political sanctions against Russia, which he said keeps violating a 2014 peace deal to halt hostilities in eastern Ukraine.

"Firing continues on Russia's side and also by the (Russia-backed) fighters from banned weapons," Poroshenko said.

According to Poroshenko, the OSCE, a European security organization, says the firing is intensifying in eastern Ukraine, while its monitors are denied access to the occupied territories and to military equipment sites there.

"Because of the failure to implement the Minsk (peace) agreement, sanctions on the Russian federation should be extended," Poroshenko said.

On Thursday, European Council President Donald Tusk said he believes the sanctions against Russia will be extended for another six months.

The EU imposed economic and political sanctions against Russia in July 2014 after Russia annexed the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine.