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EU leaders decide to prolong sanctions against Russia for six months

BRUSSELS, December 16. /TASS/. Leaders of EU states and governments decided to prolong the economic sanctions against Russia, tied to the implementation of the Minsk Agreements on settlement in Ukraine, for another six months, a source in one European delegation told TASS Thursday.

"In the context of discussion of the situation in Ukraine, the leaders agreed that the sanctions must once again be prolonged for 6 months, until July 31," they said.

According to the diplomat, in the upcoming weeks, the decision will be formalized and published in the Official EU Journal, entering into effect. The current restrictions were supposed to end on January 31.

In 2014, the EU imposed sanctions against Russia over the events in Ukraine and Crimea’s accession to Russia. The restrictions were expanded and prolonged repeatedly. The negotiations on the visa-free regime and the new basic agreement on cooperation were suspended; Russian officials were barred from entering the EU, and their assets were frozen. Besides, trade, financial and military restrictions were imposed as well. In response, Russia banned import of European food products.