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EU extends sanctions against Russia for another 6 months

EU extends sanctions against Russia for another 6 months
The extension of EU sanctions against Russia came into force on Saturday. The penalties target specific sectors of the Russian economy, including financial, energy and defence sectors, and will run until 31 July 2020.

The European Council said that the decision was taken unanimously over alleged “incomplete implementation” of the Minsk agreements on the settlement of the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

The extension comes despite the ongoing talks between Moscow and Kiev to settle the conflict.

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky earlier suggested reviewing the Minsk accords, requiring Kiev to alter its constitution and grant “special status” to the mainly Russian-speaking Donbass region. Russian President Vladimir Putin called the idea alarming, saying that there is nothing “except the Minsk agreement.” “If we revisit this we are at a dead end,” he said at a news conference on Thursday.

The punitive measures targeting Russia were initially introduced by the EU on 31 July 2014 over the events in Ukraine, and have been repeatedly extended and expanded since then. Moscow has responded with counter-sanctions, banning a number of European products.

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