European Union to Renew Russia Sanctions in July

European Union to Renew Russia Sanctions in July
Thu May 19, 2016 18:25:30

The European Union says it expects to renew sanctions against Russia in Ukraine in July.

The announcement has been made by EU foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt.

The EU imposed a series of sanctions on Russia in 2014 over allegations of Moscow’s interference in the separation of the Crimea peninsula from Ukraine to rejoin Russia.

The 28-strong EU needs unanimity to extend the economic sanctions against Moscow.

Asked by Die Welt if sanctions expiring in July would be extended, the former Italian foreign minister said: "I expect so."

"EU heads of state or government had tied the lifting of the sanctions to a full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. So far, this has not been reached," Reuters has quoted Mogherini as saying in a text of her English-language answers provided by her office.

Some EU countries have suggested sanctions might be eased in July in an effort to defuse tension with Moscow even though a peace deal struck at Minsk early last year has not ended the conflict in eastern Ukraine. However, Mogherini has emphasized that EU policy would not change yet, although later this year there should be a "substantive political evaluation" of how to move forward.

"There have always been different opinions on some elements of our sanction policy," she said.

"It will probably stay that way. But in spite of the differences, the unity was also always there. What is important is that we keep this unity and decide all together."

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