WORLD

Russia extends counter-sanctions against West

RUSSIA EXTENDS COUNTER-SANCTIONS AGAINST WEST

Moscow has extended counter-sanctions against a number of Western states, the Russian government said on Wednesday.

"The ban on the import of certain types of agricultural products, raw materials and food from the U.S, member states of the EU, Canada, Australia, Norway, Ukraine, Albania, Montenegro, Iceland and Lichtenstein, was extended from Jan. 1 until Dec. 31, 2018," the government said in a statement.

It said the counter-measures were to ensure the security of Russia.

"These restrictions are aimed at extending special economic counter-measures against certain states taking into account the extent of their involvement in the sanctions regime against Russia," it added.

President Vladimir Putin on Friday signed a decree to extend counter-sanctions for one more year.

The move came two days after the EU extended its own range of economic steps against Russia until Jan. 31, 2018 in a view of what it said was the continued "lack of full implementation" of the Minsk agreements to end the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

In 2014, Russia banned wholesale imports of fresh food products from many Western countries in retaliation for 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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