10:34 May. 26, 2016
E.U. officials insist restrictions are to remain unless the Minsk protocol is fully implemented
Sanctions against Russia will remain unchanged, since there have been hardly any progress on the implementation of the Minsk agreements, stated the President of the European Council Donald Tusk before the G7 summit in Japanese city of Ise-Shima.
"Two years ago, the G7 demonstrated unity with Europe when the conflict in Ukraine erupted. And we remain united during this conflict. The European Union, as the entire G7, continues to believe that this crisis can only be resolved in full compliance with the international law, especially the legal obligation to respect Ukraine's sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence," reported Tusk.
Earlier that day Donald Tusk held a joint press conference with the Head of E.U. Commission Jean-Claude Juncker. Both leaders expressed their will to prolong the restrictions hoping there would be no arguments among the E.U. members.
European Union launched sectoral economic sanctions against Russian Federation after Moscow occupied Crimean peninsula and unleashed war in Donbas region in eastern Ukraine continuing to supply the Russian-backed separatist forces with necessary equipment and military cadres.
According to the Minsk protocol, signed in Belarus in February 2015 after peace negotiations with France and Germany participating, Russia and Russian-backed militants pledged fulfilling the bilateral ceasefire regime along with withdrawing heavy weapon and releasing the political prisoners. The E.U. and the U.S. claim to see no progress in implementing the Minsk agreement. As reported earlier, MEP Rebecca Harms insisted releasing Ukrainian pilot Nadiya Savchenko from Russian captivity is no pretext to lift sanctions, since Kremlin keeps on violating Ukraine's sovereignty and territorial integrity.