Tusk expects Russian sanctions to be extended – but for how long?

Russian sanctions: The odds are stacked in favour of  Brussels extending its programme of  sanctions  against Russia when it reviews the situation in January, EU President Donald Tusk said yesterday, but it  will be harder to hold the line once Donald Trump moves into the White House in the new year. France, Germany and the US continued to support him in maintaining a cohesive response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea and support for separatists in eastern Ukraine, Poland’s former Prime Minister insisted,  and predicted that he would win approval for the imposition of further  6-month extension of economic and political sanctions on Moscow . 
“All signs indicate that we will manage to jointly extend the sanctions on Russia at least one more time” he told the   Polish television station TVN24, “but no-one can say what will happen  in six months’ time.
“I believe that after the (US) elections and Donald Trump’s victory it will be harder to build such an unequivocal, uniform policy of the Western world toward Russia.” 
Along with the collapse in oil prices and the  sustained weakness  of the rouble, the  sanctions that the EU imposed  in July 2014 – which include  the cancellation of top-level meetings, travel bans and asset freezes on people linked to the Crimean annexation or thought to be interfering with Ukraine’s territorial integrity –  contributed  to the  Russian  economy shrinking  by 3.7% last year.

Source: nytimes