“Nobody has abolished the principle of reciprocity,” said Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, answering a question on whether Russia would keep countermeasures in response to the EU decision.
The European Union formally extended its economic sanctions Wednesday on various sectors of the Russian economy. The renewed sanctions will be effective until January 31, 2018, the European Council said.
The decision comes after last week’s update from French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel to the European Council on the implementation of the Minsk agreements framed to halt the war in Eastern Ukraine. Germany and France have been acting as mediators for the talks.
The EU sanctions were originally imposed in July 2014 in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and the destabilizing of the situation in Donbas in Eastern Ukraine. The measures target the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as specific individuals and entities.
There are 150 individuals and 37 entities subject to EU restrictive measures, such as visa bans and asset freezes.
Moscow denies direct involvement in the conflict and says it does not support the separatists.
United States also tightens sanctions
Two Russian government officials were among 38 people and entities who have been added to the US sanctions list.
The Treasury Department said the decision was consistent with the US commitment to seek a diplomatic resolution to the crisis in Ukraine and that sanctions won’t be lifted until Russia leaves Crimea.
“This administration is committed to a diplomatic process that guarantees Ukrainian sovereignty, and there should be no sanctions relief until Russia meets its obligations,” said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.