BRUSSELS - The European Union on Monday prolonged economic sanctions on Russia for its role in the conflict in eastern Ukraine for another six months.
The sanctions were first adopted in July 2014 in response to Russia's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and its support for pro-Moscow separatists in the country's east.
The restrictive measures have since been regularly extended. The most recent extension means that the sanctions stay in force until at least January 31, 2022.
The European Union has tied easing the sanctions to progress on the Minsk agreement, which calls for an unconditional ceasefire and for both sides to pull back heavy weapons from the front line in eastern Ukraine.
The EU sanctions target Russia's financial, energy and defense industries, impeding banks' access to EU markets and limiting certain EU imports.
Separate measures are in place targeting trade with the annexed territories of Crimea and Sevastopol.