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Extension of Anti-Russia Sanctions 'Necessary' – Merkel

German Chancellor Angela Merkel

The European Union will extend sanctions against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced during an EU summit in Brussels Wednesday.

Merkel described extending the sanctions as "necessary" due to Russia's ongoing failure to implement the Minsk agreements which were imposed in relation to the Ukrainian conflict.

The next EU next discussion on the sanctions is scheduled for October. The current package is to expire at the end of July, but will be automatically prolonged.

European leaders have also discussed prospects of ratifying an association agreement between the EU and Ukraine. Citizens in Netherlands voted against ratifying the agreement in April, after it had already been approved by other EU members. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that the Netherlands were currently looking for a legal compromise that would allow ratification to proceed.

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