(LtoR) The President of the Swiss Confederation Simonetta Sommaruga, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and Luxembourg's Foreign Minister Jean Asselborn
The European Union on Monday extended economic sanctions against Russia until the end of July next year after the deadline for raising objections passed without any member state challenging the decision.
Sanctions were introduced initially for a year on July 31, 2014, following Russia's seizure of Ukraine's Crimea region.
Some diplomats in Brussels said this might be the last time punitive measures on Russia's financial, energy and defence sectors get rolled over in their entirety.
France and some other EU nations have sought to re-engage with Moscow on countering terrorism and seeking an end to the war in Syria. Others say there can be no rapprochement until the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire deal for Ukraine have been met.
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