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EU to consider new sanctions against Russia in March

New sanctions against Russia will be either lifted or extended. - the European Union will decide it in the coming months.

By March, the EU Member States should make decisions on diplomatic restrictions, by July – on economic matters. The European Union should consider the new sanctions against the Russian Federation for annexation of Crimea and military operations in the eastern Ukraine taking into account the withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine.

The sanctions has been imposed for a year, so now the EU Member States have to decide what to do next. The EU countries expect long and difficult negotiations, because the community is divided on this issue. The Eastern European states want to extend the restrictions, the former MEP Pawel Kowal says.

"There is no reason to lift the sanctions. Russia has done absolutely nothing to remove the restrictions," the politician said.

However, among the EU countries there is a strong pressure to lift sanctions and to start holding negotiations with Russia on the subject of improving the relations, the MEP Jacek Saryusz-Wolski says.

"This pressure comes from several capitals – Vienna and Rome. It's like a rope, if the forces on both sides are equal, the rope will not move," Saryusz-Wolski convinces.

Many commentators believe that now it is difficult to predict what the EU's decision will be regarding the sanctions against Russia, because it is impossible to predict the actions of Vladimir Putin. The decision on the future of European restrictions against Moscow must be unanimous.