Updated 02:20 (MSK)
“Our intention is that the formal adoption of this package [of restrictive measures against Russia] will be done through written procedure on Monday,” a joint letter by the President of the European Council, Herman Van Rompuy, and the President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso says.
An EU diplomat told journalists on Friday that the official approval of the sanctions will start Monday morning. Once the decision is formally approved, it will be published in an official magazine – most likely on Tuesday.
Another source close to the EU leadership, told RIA Novosti of Friday that there was an agreement on a package of sanctions against Moscow and the final decision is due Monday.
“This new package of restrictive measures has now been agreed at the level of COREPER. It will give the European Union an effective tool, which should allow us to provide a response within a short time span. It will increase the effectiveness of the measures already in place. It will also reinforce the principle that EU sanctions are directed at promoting a change of course in Russia's actions in Ukraine,” a joint letter by Herman Van Rompuy and Jose Manuel Barroso says.
On Friday, US President Barack Obama told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales that sanctions against Russia may be lifted if a long-term sustainable ceasefire is reached in Ukraine.
Similar statements were made by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande.
Earlier that day, members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation had a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid. The ceasefire agreement came into force at 6 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).
Poroshenko said that the ceasefire deal was based on his peace plan.
On Thursday, a White House spokesperson said that the United States is preparing a new set of sanctions against Russia.
Back in March, in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia, the United States and the European Union introduced a package of targeted sanctions against Russia.
As the Ukrainian crisis escalated, the United States introduced several new rounds of sanctions targeting Russia’s defense, energy and banking sectors, and persuaded its allies to add Russian individuals and entities to their own blacklists.
Moscow has repeatedly called the language of sanctions «counterproductive," saying the measures «threaten international peace and stability» and run counter to the principles of international law.