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G7 supported extension of sanctions against Russia

Moscow may face new sanctions.

G7 countries (US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, Italy and Japan) in the final communique of the summit in Japan supported the policy of sanctions against Russia. The leaders of G7 stated preparedness "to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require."

The document stresses that the duration of sanctions is strictly linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

"We recall that the duration of sanctions is clearly linked to Russia's complete implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine's sovereignty. Sanctions can be rolled back when Russia meets these commitments. However, we also stand ready to take further restrictive measures in order to increase cost on Russia should its actions so require. We recognize the importance of maintaining dialogue with Russia in order to ensure it abides by the commitments it has made as well as international law and to reach a comprehensive, sustainable and peaceful solution to the crisis, "the document reads.

G7 countries noted that the conflict in Ukraine can be solved only through diplomatic channels, and urged all sides to "fulfil their commitments without delay with a view to holding local elections in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions as soon as possible in accordance with the Minsk agreements."

"We expect Russia to live up to its commitments and use its influence over the separatists to meet their commitments in full," the statement said.

Importantly, G7 leaders reiterated their condemnation of "the illegal annexation of the Crimean peninsula by Russia" and reaffirmed their "policy of its non-recognition and sanctions against those involved."

Last December, the European Union extended sanctions against Russia until July 31, 2016. Their next extension requires the unanimous support of all 28 EU countries.