The EU is to decide whether or not to extend sanctions on Russia at a summit scheduled for June 28-29. The main precondition for the lifting of sanctions is the full implementation of the Minsk II agreement by Russia—something on which there has been precious little movement from the Kremlin. And yet, despite several leaks indicating that the sanctions will in fact be extended for at least six months, signs of disunity among the European powers have continued to bubble to the surface.
For its part, the U.S. seems committed to holding the line. On June, 13th, the Foreign Police Initiative and the Free Russia Foundation presented hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill, centered around a joint report (published by the Free Russia Foundation and the Wilfried Martens center for European Studies) on the impact of both the economic crisis and sanctions on the Russian population, and how those factors might play out in the upcoming parliamentary elections.
And on June, 14th, the House Foreign Affairs Committee held a hearing titled “U.S. Policy Toward Putin’s Russia”, with Ambassadors Michael McFaul and Jack Matlock testifying.
With the decision looming, we asked a number of experts whether they think the EU will extend its sanctions on Russia in June, as well as what their prognosis is for sanctions holding past December.