London: European Union (EU) foreign ministers have extended economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January next year, BBC reported on Monday.

The aim is to make Russia comply with the Minsk ceasefire accord signed with Ukraine in February, EU spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic tweeted. 

The sanctions were imposed on Russia after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea in March 2014. They have been escalated because of Russia’s role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, an allegation denied by Moscow. 

Under the sanctions, Russian state banks are excluded from raising long-term loans; exports of dual-use equipment for military use in Russia are banned; and future EU-Russia arms deals are banned. 

There is also an EU-US ban on exports of some oil industry technology and services, though gas remains unaffected. 

The sanctions also target many senior officials in Russia and in the separatist leadership, including Crimean leaders, and organisations linked to them. 

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