BRUSSELS – The European Union has extended sanctions by a further six months against dozens of Russian citizens and companies deemed to have a role in threatening the stability and independence of Ukraine.
EU headquarters said Thursday the restrictive measures have been prolonged until March 14 and now apply to 149 individuals and 38 entities. It said the sanctions are in response to "actions undermining or threatening the territorial integrity, sovereignty and independence of Ukraine."
The EU first imposed the sanctions after Russia annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014 and supported pro-Russia separatists fighting Ukrainian forces in Ukraine's east. That fighting has left over 10,000 people dead.
The bloc has repeatedly extended the sanctions as the conflict continues. A 2015 peace deal helped reduce the scale of fighting, but violence continues.