World: EU Extends Sanctions Against Russia

Foreign ministers of the European Union have decided to extend the economic sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2016. The sanctions include disallowing Russian banks to raise long-term loans in the EU, banning the export of dual-use equipment for military-use in Russia, and prohibiting EU-Russia arms deals. The sanctions are being held in place to make Russia comply with a ceasefire signed with Ukraine in February. Russia has criticized the extension of the sanctions and warned that it will not respond as the EU wishes. Russia’s President Putin’s press secretary stated, “Russia naturally considers these sanctions groundless, unlawful. And we have never been the initiators of the sanction measures.” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter, however, spoke of the US’s allies in Ukraine and Crimea and Russia’s wish to reclaim those countries as part of Russia, as they had been during the days of the Soviet Union, when he said, “We do not seek to make Russia an enemy. But make no mistake: we will defend our allies, the rules-based international order, and the positive future it affords us. We will stand up to Russia’s actions and their attempts to re-establish a Soviet-era of influence.”

Contributor: Katie Campbell

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