The leaders of the European Union have voted to prolong economic sanctions against Russia for another six months, the European Council said on Thursday. Existing sanctions expire on 31 July. They concern financial, energy and defence sectors, Trend reports citing Sputnik.
"EU leaders just agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia for another 6 months #EUCO", the EU Council said on Twitter.
The restrictions include bans on imports of goods produced in Crimea and on investment in the region.
European leaders gathered in Brussels on Thursday for a major two-day summit to discuss those best equipped for top posts for the bloc, as well as sanctions against Russia, climate change, global security and other issues.
According to the UN Special Rapporteur on the negative impact of the unilateral coercive measures, Idriss Jazairy, the European Union has suffered greater losses than Russia as a result of sanctions, as the latter has mitigated the effects of the restrictions by boosting domestic production. In March, Jazairy said that applying sanctions that were costing the Europeans more than for the Russians was "crazy" and called upon the sides to find other ways to overcome their differences.