17:13 GMT09 May 2021
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    Leader of Italy’s Lega Nord party said that sanctions imposed against Moscow by Brussels may be prolonged for the period of six months for the last time.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) Sanctions imposed against Moscow by Brussels may be prolonged for the period of six months for the last time, the leader of Italy’s Lega Nord party, Matteo Salvini, told Sputnik on Friday.

    The EU economic sanctions against Russia are due to expire on January 31 if the bloc does not extend the measures.

    "I think that this time around the European Union will vote to extend sanctions against Russia. I believe it will be for the last time and the next time around they will chose to lift them as estimated damage to the EU economy amounted to 200 billion euros ($216.5 billion)," Salvini said.

    The Italian lawmaker added that parliamentarians in Brussels were against extending sanctions against Russia, but would vote differently due to pressure.

    On Wednesday, a source close to the EU leadership said a decision to extend the economic sanctions against Russia would be made through a written procedure before December 25.

    Relations between Russia and the European Union deteriorated in 2014 after Brussels and Washington accused Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis. A range of sectoral sanctions were imposed on Russia's energy, banking and defense industries.

    Moscow has denied any involvement the Ukrainian civil war, labeling the Western sanctions counterproductive.

    Tags:
    anti-Russian sanctions, European Union, Matteo Salvini, Russia
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