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Russia to prolong embargo if EU extends sanctions: minister

Eu head quarterMoscow will extend its embargo on European Union agricultural products but is unlikely to go further if the EU extends sanctions as expected, economy minister Alexei Ulyukayev said Thursday.

“We’ll just keep the status quo: the embargo on produce introduced in response to the sanctions regime — of course, it’s a symmetrical measure,” Ulyukayev told RIA Novosti state news agency.

“It could be extended with some finessing,” he added.

Asked if Russia might impose sanctions on other areas of EU imports, he said “I think it’s unlikely.”

Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich also told RIA Novosti that “we will extend” sanctions if the EU does.

When asked by how much longer, he said: “I don’t talk deadlines.”

Russia has banned most dairy, meat, fish and fruit and vegetable imports from Australia, Canada, the European Union, Norway and the United States.

EU member states agreed Wednesday to extend damaging economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukraine crisis by another six months to the end of January 2016, officials said.

The agreement by ambassadors from the 28 European Union nations meeting in Brussels will be formalised by foreign ministers from the bloc when they meet next week, the officials said.

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