The European Union leaders have agreed to extend economic sanctions against Russia over the Ukrainian crises for six months until July 2017. Earlier, the sanctions were due to expire on Jan. 31.
The decision was expected and all the formalities associated with the extension of the sanctions on Russia’s defense, energy and financial sectors are taking place early next week, reports Reuters.
On Thursday, an EU source told journalists in Brussels that EU leaders had briefly discussed the possibility of extending economic sanctions against Russia for a year, but agreed to prolong them for a period of six months at the Thursday summit.
Following the EU leaders’ summit, European Council President Donald Tusk told journalists that it “was clear” that the sanctions would be extended for an additional half a year, even though some EU members wanted a 12-month extension.
First Russian lawmaker to comment on the extended sanctions is Alexei Pushkov, the head of the Foreign Affairs Committee in the State Duma. He wrote in his Twitter that it is likely that after the summer 2017, EU leaders will not extend sanctions any longer.
“EU leaders have extended sanctions against Russia for half a year. Most likely, for the last time, a breakthrough will come in the summer and sanctions will be in the past,” Pushkov wrote on Twitter.
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