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Russia extends counter-sanctions till December 2018

RUSSIA EXTENDS COUNTER-SANCTIONS TILL DECEMBER 2018

Russian President Vladimir Putin Friday signed a decree to extend counter-sanctions until Dec. 31, 2018, official Russian web portal for legal information said in a statement.

The move came two days after the EU extended economic sanctions on Russia until Jan. 31, 2018 in a view of the continued "lack of full implementation" of the Minsk agreements aiming to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

"The sanctions target the financial, energy and defense sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. They include an export ban on arms and goods that can be used for military ends in Russia," according to the statement issued by the EU.

Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said the Russian government on Thursday submitted a proposal, asking Putin to extend the response measures for one more year, according to a statement from Russian government.

"We will have to respond in kind to this situation.

"The policy of mutual economic restrictions does not have a future, yet we have to respond to protect our national interests and to protect a very important sector of the Russian economy-response measures are designed to protect our agriculture industry," Medvedev said.

In 2014, Russia banned wholesale imports of fresh food products from many western countries in retaliation for the EU sanctions imposed over Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region after an illegal independence vote.

Along with many UN countries, the U.S., the EU, and Turkey also do not recognize Crimea as Russian territory.

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