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    Sanctions against Russia: EU decision postponed

    At the request of Italy, the EU has postponed the decision on extending the economic sanctions against Russia, taken during the Ukrainian conflict, announced European diplomatic sources on Wednesday.

    During their meeting in Brussels, the 28 member states ambassadors were to enact – without debate – the six months extension of the sanctions imposed in 2014. The sanction had been applied to punish Moscow for its alleged involvement alongside pro-Russian separatists in eastern Ukraine.

    But, according to several European sources, Italy requested to postpone this decision at the beginning of the meeting, until next week when the EU summit will take place (on December 17 and 18) in Brussels.

    “Everything is suspended… This raises the question of where the decision has to be made; some want it to be at the next European summit. Italy certainly is pushing for it”, said a diplomatic source to the French press agency (AFP).

    Several sources have indicated however that the debate on Russian sanctions has been removed from the agenda of the meeting because of the blockage.

    On the other hand, Italian sources confirmed that Rome had called for a political debate on the sanctions, saying the issue needed to be discussed further.

    The 28 ambassadors are to meet on Thursday to prepare the EU summit next week, but it is not certain that the issue of the sanctions will be reviewed. 

    Lars Andersen (Source: Belga)