The European Union has agreed to prolong economic sanctions against Russia for another six months over its alleged involvement in the Ukraine crisis, Press TV reported.
"On 21 December 2015, the Council prolonged EU economic sanctions against Russia until 31 July 2016," the EU Council press service said in a communique in Brussels on Monday.
The 28-member bloc took the decision because the Minsk peace accords, which Russia signed up to, would not be completely implemented by the end of 2015 as required, it added.
"Since the Minsk agreements will not be fully implemented by 31 December 2015, the duration of the sanctions has been prolonged whilst the Council (of member states) continues its assessment of progress in implementation," it said.
The sanctions, effective next January, will target the Russian energy, banking and military sectors until July 2016. Moscow has also imposed tit-for-tat sanctions against the EU.
The EU first imposed the sanctions against Russia in 2014 over Moscow's alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict.