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EU extends sanctions against Russia for meddling in Ukraine

PUBLISHED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 6:27am
UPDATED : Friday, 15 December, 2017, 6:27am

EU leaders on Thursday agreed to extend tough economic sanctions against Russia over its meddling in Ukraine for six months, EU President Donald Tusk said.

“EU united on rollover of economic sanctions on Russia,” Tusk tweeted after leaders discussed the issue at a summit in Brussels.

The EU announced the six-month extension earlier in the day of the sanctions imposed in retaliation for Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and backing of separatist rebels in Ukraine’s eastern Donbass region.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko said on Thursday the EU’s decision to extend economic sanctions on Russia was “an important political decision” on behalf of his country.

“(It is) an important political decision by the leaders of the European Union to continue economic sanctions against Russia for violating Ukraine’s territorial integrity and unwillingness to stop hybrid aggression against our country,” Poroshenko wrote on his official Facebook page.

The decision to extend the measures, which was widely expected, came at a summit in Brussels which saw the launch of a major new EU defence cooperation agreement.

The war in eastern Ukraine between government forces and rebels backed by Moscow has claimed more than 10,000 lives and rumbles on despite a series of periodic truce deals.

Thursday’s sanctions extension will be given formal legal approval in the coming weeks.