EU extends sanctions for alleged Russian meddling in Ukraine

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The EU imposed sanctions on Russian Federation three years ago after it annexed Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula and refuses to recognize Moscow's authority there.

"I am confident that after the election in Russian Federation next Sunday we can have a fresh impetus and we can see how we can achieve qualitative progress in the Minsk process", Merkel told reporters Monday, Deutsche Welle reports.

The individual sanctions are part of measures taken by the European Union to punish Moscow for its support for pro-Russian separatists in the conflict in eastern Ukraine, which began in early 2014.

Merkel also said she supported the deployment of a United Nations peacekeeping force to eastern Ukraine.

"We have to make extremely important conclusions about this gas crisis".

The presidential election in Russian Federation this month offers a new chance to make progress on the Minsk peace deal to end the crisis in Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday, ruling out lifting sanctions before tangible progress.

"Ukraine once again appealed to the European Commission, the EU member states, to abandon intentions to build the Nord Stream 2, as the project compromises the energy security of Ukraine and the EU", he said at a joint briefing with the EU's diplomatic chief, Federica Mogherini.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko, meanwhile, expressed confidence that a pending law to set up a new anti-corruption court would be in line both with Ukrainian law and recommendations made by the Commission.

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