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U.S. Extends Sanctions on Russia to 2017

Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama has extended sanctions on Russia — imposed by Washington over Russia's involvement in the Ukrainian conflict — for another year, according to a decree published on the White House's official website.

Existing measures will stay in place as “Russia's actions continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States,” according to the decree.

The sanctions will be prolonged until March 6, 2017, according to the document.

Obama signed a decree introducing sanctions against a number of large Russian companies and members of President Vladimir Putin's inner circle in March 2014 following Moscow's annexation of Ukraine's Crimean peninsula and its actions in eastern Ukraine.

Restrictions were also imposed by the European Union and some other Western countries.

The U.S. has repeatedly said that sanctions against Moscow can be lifted after its full implementation of the Minsk peace agreement, aimed at stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine.

The deal includes a complete cease-fire, withdrawal of heavy weaponry, restoration of Kiev's control over Ukraine's national borders and holding free elections in the region.

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