European Union member states have formally extended a six-month extension of economic sanctions imposed against Russia over its role in the ongoing conflict in Ukraine.
The European Council decided on June 29 to roll over the restrictive measures until January 31 next year because the “full implementation” of the Minsk agreements that sought to put an end to fighting in eastern Ukraine “has not yet been achieved,” the council said in a statement.
European leaders had agreed to extend the sanctions beyond their current July 31 expiry date at their summit on June 19.
The sanctions were first adopted in July 2014 over Russia’s support for separatists in the Ukrainian regions of Donetsk and Luhansk in a conflict that has killed more than 13,000 people.
Since then, the measures mainly targeting Russia’s financial, energy, and defense industries have been extended every six months.
The EU has also imposed sanctions on Russia over its forcible seizure of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in March 2014.