EU leaders vote to extend sanctions on Russia over Ukraine conflict
The leaders of the European Union (EU) have agreed to extend sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine, following a similar move by the US this week.
European Council president Donald Tusk tweeted on Thursday while hosting an EU summit in Brussels: "Agreed. EU will extend economic sanctions against Russia."
The move has come about in relation to Russia's failure to implement measures promised in a peace agreement.
After Thursday's political decision, the sanctions will be formally extended for another six months starting next week.
The EU initially imposed sanctions on Russia three years ago after it annexed Crimea.
It has repeatedly extended them as the conflict between Ukraine's government and pro-Russia separatists has dragged on.
EU leaders have long been torn on whether to open more diplomatic contacts with Moscow in parallel with the sanctions.