EU sanctions against Russia, which were due to expire in a few weeks, now look set to continue
According to diplomatic sources who spoke to AFP, the European Union could renew sanctions for another six months as early as next week.
EU Commission head, Jean-Claude Juncker, in St Petersburg for the Economic Forum, said:
“Let me be clear. On Minsk, the European Union is united. And so is the G7. Russia is party to the Minsk agreements. Therefore, the next step is clear: full implementation of the agreements. No more, no less. This is the only way to begin our conversation, and the only way to lift the economic sanctions that have been imposed.”
The Minsk peace agreement was brokered in 2015 to end the conflict in east Ukraine but the deal has stalled as violence in the region continues.
The sanctions began in 2014 over the conflict in Ukraine and have helped push Russia’s economy into recession. In retaliation, Moscow banned EU farm imports. The country has since been developing its own versions of foreign products.
Vice President of “Business Russia”, Nikolai Ostarkov, explained: “French cheese is being substituted for Russian produced ones, and the quality is getting better. The process of import substitution is well underway.”