EU extends sanctions against Russia for conflict in Ukraine

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BRUSSELS (AP) – The European Union extended its economic sanctions against Russia for six months on Monday for failing to fulfill its obligations under the peace agreement in Ukraine.

The measures target Russia’s financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as goods that can be used for both civilian and military purposes. They are part of a series of sanctions imposed on Russia in 2014 after annexing the Crimean peninsula of Ukraine, and are bound by respect for the 2015 peace agreement in Minsk.

“As full implementation has not yet been reached, EU leaders have taken the political decision to reverse economic sanctions against Russia,” the EU Council said in a statement. The sanctions have been extended until January 31.

The move restricts access of Russian banks and companies to the EU capital markets and prohibits financial support or brokering for Russian financial institutions. It stops all imports, exports or transfers of defense equipment and limits Russia’s access to some “sensitive” technology used in oil production.

More than 14,000 people have been killed in fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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