Putin V Juncker HOTS UP: Furious Russian leader extends sanctions against European Union

The Russian president issued a decree on Friday extending the sanctions until the end of 2018. 

The move comes just days after Moscow formally extended sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2018, in response to Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea and its support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.

Moscow denies direct involvement in the conflict despite NATO’s assertions its troops are supporting the rebels.

Russia banned wholesale imports of fresh food products from many Western countries in 2014 in retaliation for Brussels sanctions.

Moscow says the counter-sanctions are helping spur the development of Russian agriculture.

EU leaders agreed to the extension after France and Germany claimed there had been no progress in efforts to negotiate an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which has killed more than 10,000 people since April 2014.

European companies cannot borrow or lend money to Russia’s five main state-owned banks for more than 30 days, limiting Moscow’s avenues for raising funds.

Along with restrictions on business with Russia’s top energy companies, exports of some energy-related equipment and technology to Russia must also be approved by EU governments.

According to the Brussels bloc the sanctions will only be lifted when the Kremlin implements the Minsk peace deal for Ukraine which was negotiated by the leaders of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia in 2015.

The announcement comes as tensions escalate between the West and Russia over its alliance with Assad regime in Syria. 

Daily Express :: World Feed

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