EU leaders have officially confirmed a decision to extend sanctions against Russia over Crimea and Eastern Ukraine for another six months, the President of the European Council Donald Tusk announced during a European leaders summit in Brussels.
"Agreed. EU will extend economic sanctions against Russia for their lack of implementing the Minsk Agreement," Tusk tweeted on Thursday.
The sanctions were first imposed following the secession of Crimea from Ukraine in 2014 and subsequently expanded during the outbreak of violence in the east of the country.
They include an arms export ban, limited access to finance for Russian banks, and travel bans for over 150 individuals. Many measures, specifically, prohibit financial interactions with Crimea.
“A fundamentally flawed understanding of the situation has led to an incorrect approach to resolving it. The EU has become a hostage of Kiev’s anti-Russian policies, which are aimed at sabotaging the Minsk agreement,” said Konstantin Kosachev, who chairs the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Federation Council, the upper chamber of Russia’s parliament, Interfax reported.
“This is another diplomatic defeat for the EU on the Ukrainian front.”