EU leaders agree to prolong Russia sanctions over Ukraine

European Union leaders attend a round table meeting at an EU summit in Brussels, Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018. EU leaders gathered Thursday for a two-day summit which will center on the Brexit negotiations. (Piroschka van de Wouw, Pool Photo via AP)

BRUSSELS — A top European Union official says EU leaders have agreed to prolong economic sanctions against Russia over its destabilization of Ukraine.

The measures targeting Russia's economy were due to expire next month, but lifting them depends on whether the EU considers that Russia is respecting the Minsk peace agreement sealed in 2015.

EU Council President Donald Tusk tweeted Thursday that the "EU unanimously prolongs economic sanctions against Russia given zero progress in implementation of Minsk agreements."

The EU imposed sanctions on Russia in 2014 after it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula. They have been routinely rolled over due to the lack of progress on the peace front.

More than 10,000 people have been killed since 2014 in fighting between Ukrainian troops and Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine.

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