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BRUSSELS, June 23. /TASS/. Participants of the EU summit unanimously supported the expansion of sanctions against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel told reporters in Brussels on Thursday night.
"(French President) Emmanuel Macron and I reported about how the work within the framework of the Minsk process and the Normandy Format proceeds," she said. "Regretfully, we have to admit that little progress can be seen. The ceasefire is being constantly violated, that why the basis for the continuation of political process is insufficient."
"Under such circumstances, everybody spoke of the need to extend the sanctions," she went on, adding that "Germany and France received support regarding the continuation of the Minsk process."
In 2014, the European Union and the United States imposed sanctions on Moscow over the situation in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia. Some of the Russian officials were barred from entering EU counties and the US, their assets were frozen. Besides that, trade, financial and military restrictions were also introduced. Sanctions have been repeatedly extended and expanded.
The economic sanctions against a number of Russian state-run oil, defense and financial companies, due to expire on July 31, were extended until January 21, 2018.