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NAIROBI, December 18. /TASS/. Prolongation of sanctions against Russia was expectable and it will not exert any impact on the Russian economy, Economic Development Minister Alexei Ulyukayev told reporters here on Friday.
"This was an expectable decision and we haven't heard anything new," he said. "The Russian economy won't be affected."
A political source in Brussels said on Friday the EU ambassadors had coordinated an unchanged extension of the anti-Russian economic sanctions through to July 2016. The EU Council is expected to OK the extension before December 21.
For incorporation of Crimea after last year’s coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, Russia imposed on August 6, 2014 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as claims that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.