Foreign Minister of Lithiania Linas Linkevicius expects the European Union's sanctions against Russia to be extended by 12 months rather than by 6 months due to absence of progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He said this before the meeting of the Council of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union in Luxemburg on Monday, Ukrainian News Agency reports. "We have sanctions because of the Minsk agreements. Since there is no progress in the Minsk process, additional sanctions may be introduced or the existing sanctions may be extended by 12 months instead of six months. This may happen," he said. On Monday, the Council of the Foreign Ministers of the European Union is scheduled to discuss the situation in Syria, the relations with the Russian Federation, the situation in Iran, preparations for the summit the European Union - Western Balkans, and financing of foreign actions after 2020. As Ukrainian News Agency earlier reported, in December 2017, the Council of the European Union extended the European Union's sanctions against Russia until July 31, 2018. The sanctions were originally introduced on for one year 31 July 2014 in response to Russia's actions destabilizing the situation in Ukraine. They were strengthened in September 2014. They target the financial, energy and defense sectors, and the area of dual-use goods. The duration of the sanctions was linked to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements by the European Council on 19 March 2015, which was foreseen to take place by 31 December 2015. Since this did not happen, and given that the Minsk agreements have still not been fully implemented, the Council has extended the sanctions by a further six months.