ALSO READVladimir Putin launches natural gas pipeline supply to Crimea US plays down Russia's claims of chill in ties Russia's military is stronger than any potential foe: Vladimir Putin Trump has a very honest view of things, I like such people: Vladimir Putin Russia will not expel anyone, says Vladimir Putin
The European Union (EU) has extended sanctions against Russia for a year over its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.
The sanctions are now set to run until June 23, 2018, and apply to EU citizens and companies. They ban the import of products from Crimea and Sevastopol, halt any European investment or real estate purchases and stop cruise ships from stopping there.
The measures also ban the export of some goods and technologies that could be used for transport, telecommunications or in the energy sector particularly oil, gas or mineral exploration.
Russian President Vladimir Putin's spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, told reporters today that Moscow does not think the sanctions are "legitimate." He said, "they are hurting not only us but also the countries that adopted them."
In addition to the annexation of Crimea, Russia is backing separatists in eastern Ukraine who are fighting the government. The fighting has left over 10,000 people dead.