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EU to Extend Russia Sanctions Next Week – Report

European Union flags flutter outside the EU Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

The European Union will likely extend economic sanctions against Russia despite Italy delaying a final decision, the Interfax news agency reported Thursday, citing an unidentified European diplomatic source.

“The automatic extension of Russia sanctions has always been on the agenda,” the source said, according to the agency.

It is expected that the sanctions against Russia will be prolonged, the source said, adding that EU leaders are likely to reach an agreement on the issue next week.

The news comes a day after the EU leaders decided to postpone the talks on the extension of anti-Russian sanctions after Italy demanded further debate on the issue.

The EU originally planned to automatically prolong the sanctions, due to expire in January.

The EU imposed sanctions against businesses and a number of Russian individuals last year after Russia's annexation of the Crimean peninsula from Ukraine.

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