The European Union has agreed to prolong the anti-Russian sanctions, but the decision will be officially announced later, the Interfax news agency reported Friday, citing Elmar Brok, head of the European Parliament's foreign affairs committee.
“In Brussels, the formal decision, which has already be made by the members of the EU but not yet announced, will be taken. This is the decision to extend the sanctions and it is connected with the implementation of the Minsk agreements,” Brok was quoted by Interfax as saying during a meeting of the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee.
Brok said that the EU sanctions will be lifted only after full implementation of the Minsk agreements, aimed at stabilizing the situation in eastern Ukraine.
“The most important sanctions, which were connected with the Ukrainian issue, will be removed immediately after full implementation of the Minsk agreements by both sides, including Ukraine, and when full territorial integrity and sovereignty of Ukraine's borders is provided,” he was quoted as saying by Interfax.
EU, as well as the United States and some other Western countries, imposed sanctions against businesses and a number of Russian individuals last year, following the Kremlin's annexation of the Crimean Peninsula from Ukraine in March 2014. Later, the restrictions were extended.
Last week, Italy blocked the automatic prolongation of anti-Russian sanctions and called for further discussion of the issue.