According to two high-ranked officials, Germany alongside other countries wants to sign a declaration demanding from Russia to respect the ceasefire deal in Ukraine. They added that the sanctions will not be annulled otherwise. The leaders of the EU member-states are to meet in Brussels next Thursday and Friday in order to discuss the sanctions directed towards Russia which concern the energy, financial and defense sector. The sanctions were imposed last July when Russia annexed the Crimea peninsula and openly started supporting Ukrainian separatists.
The ceasefire was agreed last September in Minsk and demanded from Russia to stop supporting Ukrainian separatists and to withdraw weapons from the front line.
If the leaders of EU member-states agree with Germany, the sanctions will be extended. However, the move requires a unanimous backing of all EU leaders. A source claims that it is highly unlikely that the decision will be reached at the summit next week. The sanctions will otherwise expire in July. If a unanimous agreement is reached, they will be extended until the end of 2015.
Previously, there was a number of officials who backed the sanctions reluctantly, saying that they want to preserve status quo until they finish the analysis of the effect the ceasefire has had in Ukraine.