EU Extends Russia Sanctions by 6 Months

LUXEMBOURG (AP) -- The European Union has extended economic sanctions against Russia until January to keep pressure on Moscow over the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

An EU statement confirmed Monday that the decision had been taken by foreign ministers meeting in Luxembourg without debate, in response to "Russia's destabilizing role in eastern Ukraine."

The sanctions include limits to access on some financial markets, a ban on certain technologies and exchanges between the bloc and Russia in energy and defense sectors. Enacted last July and reinforced in September, the sanctions had been due to expire in July.

They are now expected to expire on Jan. 31.

Fighting between Ukrainian forces and Russian-backed rebels has killed more than 6,400 people and persists despite a cease-fire agreed in February.