OREANDA-NEWS  The European Council plans to extend economic sanctions against Russia for six months because of the incident in the sea of Azov, told reporters a senior European official. According to him, the decision will be made on December 13-14 at a meeting of the Council.

"I think this is a powerful signal. On the Azov sea, I believe we (European Council) will come to written conclusions",— said an unnamed official. He noted that written opinions on this issue are still being worked on, and they "reflect the discussion between the foreign Ministers at the foreign Affairs Council last Monday."

Earlier, a diplomatic source in Brussels told that Poland and the UK, with the support of Sweden and the Baltic countries, initiated a new discussion of tightening the sanctions regime. The reason for this was the incident in the Kerch Strait, where on November 25, Russia detained three Ukrainian ships.

Recall that until the end of January against Russia are EU sanctions against the financial, energy and defense sectors of the Russian Federation, as well as against the sphere of dual-use products. Initially, they were introduced in response to Russia's actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine on July 31, 2014 for a period of one year

Earlier, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Germany will support the extension of sanctions against Russia.

Russian border guards on November 25 with the use of weapons detained near the Kerch Strait Ukrainian tug "Yana Kapu" and small armored artillery boats "Berdyansk" and "Nikopol", heading from Odessa to Mariupol. At the same time, three Ukrainian sailors were injured.

24 Ukrainian sailors were arrested. The FSB charged them with" illegal crossing of the border committed by a group of persons by prior conspiracy or an organized group, or with the use of violence or the threat of its use " (part 3 of article 322 of the criminal code).

In Kiev, detained sailors are called prisoners of war. The FSB also stated that they can not be considered as such, because they are accused of a criminal offense, and Russia and Ukraine are not in a state of war or military conflict.