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BRUSSELS, December 15./TASS/. The countries of the European Union have already agreed an extension of anti-Russian sanctions, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite said upon her arrival in the Belgian capital for the last for this year summit.
About sanctions - everything is already agreed, she said. "All member states understand that it is inevitable," the Lithuanian president said, noting that "the written procedure is already in place".
The EU leaders intend to make a political decision on Thursday on extending sectoral economic sanctions against Russia for another half-a-year, as the current term of sanctions slapped on Russia over Ukraine expires on January 31, 2017.
Russia’s ambassador to the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov told Tass earlier that the EU is extending sanctions for the sake of preserving unity, which has become a goal in itself.
"First, some big EU countries say that sanctions should be either cancelled or eased but immediately after that minor but vociferous states demand that sanctions be extended and expanded. And then, someone we all know (President of the European Council Donald Tusk) steps forward as an arbitrator and says: "Our unity is in danger so let’s leave it as it is. Does anyone want to vote against it? A unilateral decision is made!" Chizhov said describing the situation.
"This simple story has been repeating itself every six months. After that, the Council of the European Union makes a formal decision on extending sanctions while specific wording is made up by the Committee of Permanent Representatives. Sometimes it happens so that they don’t even hold a meeting," he concluded.