European Union extends sanctions against Russian Federation



"In the context of the Russian presidential elections next Sunday, I clearly stated that Ukraine won't recognize fake presidential elections in the temporarily occupied territories and will impose sanctions against those involved in the organization of the electoral process".

The EU and other Western countries say Russian Federation has also been providing a lifeline to separatists in eastern Ukraine, where a conflict has killed more than 10,000 people since 2014.

"It would be right to wait until we have some steps before we can discuss the question of sanctions", Merkel told a joint news conference the leaders of her coalition allies, the Bavarian CSU and the left-leaning Social Democrats.

During her press briefings, Mogherini insisted that the EU has "no fatigue" from Ukraine and confirmed that the European bloc is to continue supporting Ukraine politically and financially.

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The Council of the European Union announced on Monday it was extending sanctions "over actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity" of Ukraine for six months.

Ukraine must pass the law in order to qualify for more aid from the International Monetary Fund, but the Fund has expressed "serious concern" that the legislation's current draft form will not guarantee the new court's independence.

But the European Union has become frustrated at the slow pace of reforms in Ukraine and widespread corruption.

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