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Moscow regrets EU's decision to prolong anti-Russian sanctions

The Minsk Accords have failed to be implemented to this day through Kiev's fault, so the EU Council's decision to prolong sanctions against Russia is regrettable, Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova has said.

"The EU's decision is regrettable," she said. "There has been little progress in implementing the Minsk Accords due to Kiev's reluctance to comply with its liabilities under these agreements."

"Russia's retaliatory stop-list remains in effect, too, but this is no choice of ours," Zakharova said.

The EU's decision to prolong the operation of the "black list" of Russian and Ukrainian citizens for six months was published in the Official Journal of the European Union on Tuesday. It will take effect as of Wednesday, March 15 and expire on September 15, 2017.

On the sanction list there are the names of 150 individuals, including Russian officials, politicians, businessmen and law enforcement officers, as well as officials of the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Lugansk republics. The names of the former prime minister of the Lugansk People's Republic Gennady Tsypkalov and former commander of the Donetsk People's Republic's militia Arsen Pavlov have been removed from the list after their death.

The list has been complemented by the names of 37 organizations, all of them various military and political agencies of the Lugansk and Donetsk republics the European businesses are not allowed to have relations with. All those on the sanction list are prohibited from entering the EU. Their assets in the European banks, should any be found, are to be frozen.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 14Mar17]

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