"EU leaders have extended sanctions against Russia for half a year. Most likely, for the last time, a breakthrough will come in the summer and sanctions will be in the past," Pushkov wrote on Twitter.
On Thursday, an EU source told journalists in Brussels that EU leaders had briefly discussed the possibility of extending economic sanctions against Russia for a year, but agreed to prolong them for a period of six months at the Thursday summit.
Following the EU leaders’ summit, European Council President Donald Tusk told journalists that it "was clear" that the sanctions would be extended for an additional half a year, even though some EU members wanted a 12-month extension.
Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel explained on Thursday that the slow implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine was the main reason for EU refusing to ease anti-Russia sanctions.
Russia has been targeted by several rounds of sanctions inflicted by Brussels, Washington and their allies in light of Crimea’s reunification with Russia in 2014 and due to Moscow's alleged involvement in the internal Ukrainian conflict, a claim that Russia has repeatedly denied.