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BRUSSELS, April 17. /TASS/. The European Union is due to endorse a legally binding document by late July on extending the sanctions against Russia until the full implementation of the Minsk agreements, a source in the EU external action service said on Friday.
The document has not been yet drafted and that’s why the EU foreign ministers will not discuss sanctions against Russia at the upcoming meeting in Luxembourg on April 20, he said.
"The legally binding document on sanctions should be unanimously adopted by the European Council [at the level of foreign ministers]. Before this happens, the Council should get the proposal from the head of the EU external action service, Federica Mogherini," the source said.
"The Council has not yet received this proposal on extending the economic sanctions against Russia," he explained, adding that the decision on sanctions is to be taken before they expire on July 31.
The European Union introduced the first package of economic sectoral sanctions against Moscow on July 31, 2014 for 12 months. Brussels has to decide on their extension until the expiry date, otherwise the sanctions will be no longer in force.
The leaders of the EU member-states agreed at the March 19 summit that the economic sanctions against Russia should stay in effect until the Minsk accords are implemented to the full extent.
The statement is not legally binding and should be confirmed by a respective act on extending sanctions. It should be first drafted by the EU external action service and then be unanimously approved by the European Council at the level of foreign ministers. The document comes into force after being published in the Official Journal of the EU.