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 Western leaders agreed to extend sanctions against Russia by six months, – Reuters

Western leaders agreed to extend sanctions imposed against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine by six months until July of next year.

Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.

Western leaders who met on the margins of last week's Group of 20 summit in Turkey agreed to extend sanctions imposed on Russia for its intervention in Ukraine by six months until July of next year, a senior European diplomat told Reuters.

The decision was taken despite mounting calls to cooperate more closely with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the fight against Islamic State following the militant group's Nov. 13 attacks in Paris which killed 130 people.

U.S. President Barack Obama, Germany's Angela Merkel, Britain's David Cameron, Italy's Matteo Renzi and French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, who represented President Francois Hollande at the summit, attended the brief meeting near the conclusion of the G20 meeting in Antalya.

Read more: Rome supports holding sanctions against Russia until Minsk agreements fulfilled

Western countries have said all elements of Minsk need to be fulfilled before they can consider easing the sanctions.

In particular, the diplomat said, the leaders had concluded that it was important to maintain pressure on Russia ahead of planned elections in eastern Ukraine.

"The elections in Ukraine are heavy lifting," the diplomat said, requesting anonymity because the agreement in Antalya was confidential.

"We only have a chance to get what we want if we play the sanctions card. Financial sanctions need to stay in place until the bitter end," the diplomat added.

Read more: No mirror-imaged sanctions in response to Russia's trade embargo planned - Minister Pavlenko
 
 
 
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