Western leaders have agreed to extend sanctions against Moscow by six more months over the crisis in Ukraine.
During a brief meeting on the sidelines of the week-long G20 summit in Antalya, Turkey, the leaders of US, Germany, Italy, the UK and French foreign minister Laurent Fabius, who represented President Francois Hollande at the summit, concluded to uphold pressure on Russia until July next year, ahead of elections in eastern Ukraine, Reuters reported on Sunday, citing an unnamed senior European diplomat.
The current round of sanctions is due to end in January, before full implementation of the so-called Minsk peace deal, which intends to resolve the standoff between Kiev and pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine.
“The elections in Ukraine are heavy lifting. 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 further said.