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EU keeps Russia sanctions in place

European Union ambassadors have decided to keep Ukraine-related sanctions against Russia in place for the time being.

Foreign affairs spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic said ambassadors from the 28 EU countries agreed that although there had been encouraging progress in bringing an end to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, not enough had been done to justify rolling back sanctions.

Kiev and the West say Moscow is fuelling the separatist insurgency in eastern Ukraine by providing arms and personnel, something Russia denies.

The EU sanctions target sectors of the Russian economy, Russian and pro-Russian Ukrainian officials, businesses and organisations.

Ms Kocijancic said the EU will continue to monitor the situation and could propose to amend, suspend or repeal some or all of the sanctions, depending on developments.

The statement came the day after east Ukraine suffered its worst violence in more than a week, as fighting between pro-Russian rebels and government troops killed at least 12 people and wounded 32.

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