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EU extends Russian sanctions over actions in Ukraine

Dec. 17 (UPI) -- The European Union extended sanctions targeting Russia over its destabilizing actions in Ukraine by an additional six months.

The EU announced in a statement that the sanctions target Russia's financial, energy and military sectors, stating they limit the access of Russian banks and companies to EU markets and ban the import and export products that have dual civilian-military applications.

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"The sanctions further curtail Russian access to certain sensitive technologies that can be used in the Russian energy sector, for instance in oil production and exploration," the statement said.

The EU also has in place other restrictive measures, including diplomatic and individual sanctions, to punish Russia over its annexation of Crimea in 2014.

In October, the EU added two people and four entities involved in destabilizing activities in Crimea to its sanctions list, expanding it 177 people and 48 entities blacklisted.

The sanctions were first imposed in September of 2014 over Russia's actions in Ukraine, with the initial term limit of a year that has since been repeatedly extended.

On Thursday, the sanctions were extended until July 31.

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