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EU to extend sanctions against Russia until middle of 2017 18:02, 16 December

Top EU officials agreed that the sanctions against Russia are going to be extended for another six months – until the middle of 2017. This was agreed on the diplomatic circuit during the Summit in Brussels.

The decision was quite predictable, but the terms created the disputes. Poland and Great Britain insisted to extend constrains at least for a year and to expand the list of sanctions due to the military actions of the Russian Federation in Syria.

This initiative was blocked by Italy, represented by the newly-appointed Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni. The fact of prolonging sanctions was later confirmed by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Formal procedures to implement the decision will take place next week.