09:53 Jun. 29, 2016
German chancellor cites agreed cease-fire that has never gotten off the ground
German Chancellor Angela Merkel confirmed Tuesday night that the European Union would extend economic sanctions against Russia, the WSJ reported.
Citing an agreed cease-fire in Ukraine that has never gotten off the ground, Merkel said that she and French President François Hollande made clear to EU leaders in Brussels "that the extension of the sanctions...is sadly necessary."
EU ambassadors agreed last week in principle to extend the sanctions by six months, to the end of January 2017. The decision was delayed because of Italian demands that it be discussed first at the EU leaders meeting and a French requirement to run the measures by its parliament.
It is expected that the formal rollover of the sanctions will now happen in the coming days.
"There's nothing stopping the extension of the sanctions," Merkel said, following a meeting of EU heads of state in Brussels on Tuesday.
In the end, there was only a brief discussions of sanctions at the EU leaders meeting.
European Council President Donald Tusk has promised a broader discussion of EU sanctions on Russia and EU ties with its eastern neighbor for October.