The EU is ready to extend economic sanctions against Russia

The heads of state of the European Union heard in the course of videocamera Friday information from the leaders of Germany and France on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, and now the EU can move to the extension of economic sanctions against Russia, said the head of the European Council Charles Michel at a press conference after the meeting.

"The leaders were informed about the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which means that now the Council could extend the sanctions," he said.

Discussion at the summit situation with the Minsk agreements is usually preceded by a political decision of the leaders on the extension of sanctions. Then the EU Council formalized that decision.

Now the sanctions are valid until 31 July, and they extended for six months.

Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in connection with the situation in Ukraine and around the Crimea, which reunited with Russia after a referendum on the Peninsula. The West is accusing Russia of meddling, have imposed sanctions, Moscow responded, took a course on import substitution and has repeatedly said that talking with her in language of sanctions counterproductive. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and the subject of the Minsk agreements on the settlement. Lately in Europe more and more sound views on the need for the lifting of sanctions against Russia.