00:26 GMT17 April 2021
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    The European Union has again extended sanctions on Russia over Ukraine's internal conflict until March 15, 2018.

    The European Union has extended sanctions on Russian and Ukrainian individuals and legal entities by another six months on Thursday.

    The extension of sanctions for six months has been preliminary approved at a meeting of the EU member states' envoys to the bloc on September 6.

    Despite the fact that several EU members have repeatedly voiced disapproval of anti-Russian sanctions policy and called for lifting them, which harm their states' trade with Russia, Brussels continues to prolong the restrictions on Moscow.

    Following the escalation of the Ukrainian crisis, the European Union along with the United States imposed sanctions against Russian individuals and Russian defense, energy and banking sectors in late July 2014. Moscow responded by introducing a year-long food embargo on several imports from the countries that have targeted Russia with the restrictions, extending the current embargo several times.

    Despite Russian officials stressing that Moscow is not a party to the Ukrainian internal conflict between Kiev and Donbass self-proclaimed republics, who don't recognize Ukraine's leadership after what they consider to be a coup after the Maidan protests, the EU said that sanctiobns on Russia would be lifted only if the Minsk agreements are implemented.

    Moscow is one of the states participating in the Normandy format talks on Ukraine's conflict settlementaling with Germany, France and Ukraine itself. Back in 2015, the leaders of the countries have brokered an agreement in Minsk to help settle the conflict. Since then, the conflicting sides have traded accusations concerning violations of the Minsk deal.


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