• Mogherini expects ‘political discussion’ over prolongation
  • Decision requires EU unanimity or curbs will lapse on July 31

The European Union will consider extending economic sanctions against Russia, but will stop short of tightening them, foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

Trade and investment curbs to punish Russia for its takeover of Crimea and intervention in eastern Ukraine in 2014 are set to lapse on July 31 and require a unanimous 28-nation vote to be prolonged.

“We will have a political discussion in the coming weeks with the member states on the rollover of existing sanctions,” Mogherini told reporters in Brussels on Friday. “There is no discussion at the moment on increasing the level of sanctions.”

Countries including Italy, Greece, Hungary and Austria have expressed discomfort with the penalties, though didn’t stand in the way of an extension last year. Opponents of sanctions have gotten quieter since then, as Russia continues to back the eastern Ukraine rebels and build up its military.

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