EU Leaders Agree to Prolong Anti-Russian Economic Sanctions

Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov

European leaders gathered in Brussels Thursday for the final two-day EU summit of this year.

"The EU unanimously supports the extension of economic sanctions against Russia", Tusk posted on Twitter, Trend reports.

The sanctions are just one part of a raft of measures the European Union has imposed on Russian Federation for its role in the conflict in Ukraine and misuse of Ukrainian state funds.

The leaders of the EU member states adopted a political decision to extend the economic sanctions against Russian Federation, which expire at the end of January 2018, Donald Tusk, the president of the European Council, said Dec.14.

"The decision, announced on December 14 at an European Union summit, will extend current restrictions against Moscow until July 2018".

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"We have prevented an escalation, but we have not enough progress in order to remove the sanctions", Merkel said.

The EU-brokered Minsk peace agreement, backed by Moscow and Kiev, was first reached in late 2014 and then re-worked in early 2015 but is violated nearly daily.

"[It is] an important political decision by the leaders of the European Union to continue economic sanctions against Russian Federation for violating Ukraine's territorial integrity and unwillingness to stop hybrid aggression against our country", Poroshenko wrote on his official Facebook page.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Thursday that Russian Federation has fully adapted to the continued economic pressure from Western sanctions.

Thursday's sanctions extension will be given formal legal approval in the coming weeks.

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