EU ambassadors extend economic sanctions on Russia by six months

EU ambassadors have agreed to extend their bloc's economic sanctions against Russia for another six months, diplomats said Friday on condition of anonymity, following halting progress on a ceasefire in eastern Ukraine.

The prolongation until the end of July is expected to be finalized by Tuesday, at which point it should be published in the European Union's official journal, the diplomats said.

The economic sanctions against Russia were first instituted in July 2014, in reaction to Moscow's annexation of the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.

The measures, which aim to hamper Russian imports and Russian banks' access to European capital markets, have severely strained relations between Brussels and Moscow.

They are among the most controversial steps taken to influence Moscow's course in Ukraine, having inflicted economic pain both on Russia and the 28-country EU.

But the bloc has linked the sanctions to a ceasefire deal for eastern Ukraine, which was supposed to be implemented by the end of year. Violations persist, however. A prolongation had thus been considered unavoidable.

Last update: Fri, 18/12/2015 - 21:00
Author: 

More from Europe

Britain's top court hears government appeal against Brexit ruling

Britain's Supreme Court opened a four-day hearing on Monday of the government's appeal against a ruling that...

Turkish EU minister calls for opening of new accession chapters

Turkish EU Affairs Minister Omer Celik called for the opening of two new accession chapters in Turkey's bid to join...

Austria counting postal votes but Green presidency is certain

In a repeat election on Sunday that gave Austria's far-right Freedom Party another shot at the presidency, Green...

Renzi set to hand in resignation after "clear-cut" referendum defeat

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi was due to tender his resignation on Monday after losing a crucial referendum on...

Italy's Renzi concedes referendum defeat, announces resignation

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi has conceded defeat on a referendum battle to approve constitutional reforms and...