Sanctions extension expected to meet opposition at EU summit

Sanctions extension: Seven EU member states – Italy, Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Austria, Hungary and Slovakia, are expected to force the European Union to postpone a  decision about extending sanctions against Russia at the summit in Brussels that begins tomorrow (March 19) according to Bloomberg.
There are signs that economic pressures is beginning to weaken the pro-sanction faction, the agency suggests. Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades visited Moscow in February and granted the Russian navy access to Cypriot ports; this month saw Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi in the Russian capital being described as a“privileged partner” by Putin; and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has a visit scheduled for April.
The current sanction regime is due to expire in June and an extension would require a unanimous vote from all 28 countries, something that  is highly unlikely to happen this week. “The likeliest outcome is that they will not agree to roll over the sanctions now and they will put off a decision until the last possible moment before the sanctions expire,” Ian Bond, a former British diplomat now with the Centre for European Reform in London, told Bloomberg. 
Source: KP