Putin signs decree to extend ban on Western food imports

Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed a decree to extend a ban on Western food imports for another 18 months after the European Union extended economic sanctions against Russia.

Putin's office published a decree on Friday that keeps the food ban in place until Dec. 31, 2018. Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on Thursday proposed keeping the ban, saying that it will help to creative incentives for Russian farmers.

Moscow has warned it would lift the ban introduced in 2015 only if the U.S. and the EU roll back the sanctions they imposed following Russia's annexation of Crimea and support for separatist rebels in eastern Ukraine.

The EU announced on Wednesday that it would extend the sanctions by six months over Russia's failure to honor a peace deal for eastern Ukraine.