At the EU summit in Brussels, Italy blocked the attempt to extend sanctions against Russia for one year. Rome was also against the extension of sanctions for alleged crimes committed by Russia in Syria.
This was confirmed by the participants of the summit.
"We had a discussion, which, fortunately, ended without considering the option that would be, in my opinion, erroneous. That is to respond to the situation in Syria and Aleppo with the EU sanctions against Russia", the Prime Minister of Italy, Paolo Gentiloni, said. He also added that most countries agreed with Italy that it would be a mistake to introduce new sanctions against Moscow in addition to those already imposed due to Russian aggression in Ukraine.
Italy also was among the countries that opposed the proposal of Poland to keep the existing sanctions against Russia for a year rather than for six months.
"Some of our colleagues have sought to extend the sanctions for 12 months, but in reality it was clear from the very beginning that it was still possible to maintain our current format," said the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk. Poland and some other countries were concerned that US president elect Donald Trump might try to ease the pressure on Russia after having taken office the next year.
Tusk said it was still too early to say what the Trump’s policy will be.