BRUSSELS

The EU on Monday officially extended its sanctions against Russia for another six months.

EU leaders decided earlier this month to prolong the restrictive measures due to Moscow’s reluctance to fully implement the Minsk agreement meant to establish a ceasefire in Eastern Ukraine.

Monday’s official announcement renews economic sanctions until Jan. 31, 2021.

The bloc introduced restrictive measures in 2014 in response to “Russia’s destabilizing actions against Ukraine.”

Under the decision, certain Russian banks and companies have limited access to EU capital markets and are also barred from receiving financial assistance from European ones.

The measures also prohibit the trade of all defense-related goods as well as sensitive technologies that can be used in the Russian energy sector.

In a separate decision, the EU earlier this month also extended its economic sanctions against Crimea and the port of Sevastopol.

The EU, the UN General Assembly, and Turkey all view Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea as illegal.

Ukraine also blames the Kremlin for separatist violence in eastern Ukraine near the border with Russia. Some 13,000 people have been killed in that conflict, a quarter of them civilians, and as many as 30,000 wounded, the UN said last year.

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