vladimir putin.jpg
Photograph: Hina/ BETA/ Marko RUPENA/ik

Western leaders who met last week on the outskirts of the G20 summit in Turkey have agreed to extend the sanctions against Russia by July next year because of its activity in Ukraine, said a European diplomatic head of Reuters.

The decision was made despite an increasingly vocal calls for closer co-operation with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the fight with members of the group Islamic State (IS) after the attacks in Paris on 13 November, which killed 130 people.

US President Barack Obama, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, British Prime Minister David Cameron, Italian Matteo Renzi and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius who was represented at the summit by French President Francois Hollande, met briefly before the final set of the G20 in Antalya.

The diplomat said that the leaders concluded that it is important to continue pressure on Russia ahead of elections planned in eastern Ukraine.

"The elections in Ukraine are a great challenge. What we want we will get if we play to map sanctions. Financial sanctions must continue until the end of the pain," said the diplomat, who wished to remain anonymous because the deal was confidential.

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