The European Union will prolong the economic sanctions against Russia

The bloc decided to confirm the measures against energy sectors, defense and Russian banks imposed for the first time on July 31, 2014, after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine

European leaders gave their approval at dawn on Friday to extend for six months the economic sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the conflict in Ukraine, a decision that must be formally approved by the Council of the EU.

The 28 leaders held in Brussels “a very short discussion” on the matter “that will lead to prolonging for six other tables the sanctions” imposed for the first time in July 2014, a European official told AFP.

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The bloc decided to impose these sanctions on energy sectors, defense and Russian banks for the first time on July 31, 2014, after the downing of a Malaysian Airlines plane in eastern Ukraine.

The 28 have subsequently expanded and, in mid-March 2015, decided to link their duration to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which seek to end the conflict between forces loyal to Kiev and pro-Russian separatists in the east of the country.

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In response, Moscow adopted retaliatory measures against European farmers.

The current prolongation expired at the end of July.

Economic sanctions are one of the aspects of the punitive measures decided by the EU to sanction Moscow’s role in the conflict in Ukraine, a country it seized in March 2014 from the Crimean peninsula, an annexation that the EU does not recognize and that It generates concern in Russia’s neighbors, such as the Baltic countries.