15:34 May. 19, 2016
European nations link lifting Russia sanctions to full implementation of Minsk peace agreements
European Union foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini expects sanctions against Russia over its actions in Ukraine to be renewed in July, she told a German newspaper on Thursday, according to Reuters.
Asked by Die Welt in an interview if sanctions expiring in July would be extended, the former Italian foreign minister said: "I expect so."
In a text of her English-language answers provided by her office, Mogherini added: "EU heads of state or government had tied the lifting of the sanctions to a full implementation of the Minsk Agreements. So far, this has not been reached."
Some EU countries have suggested sanctions might be eased in July in an effort to defuse tension with Moscow even though a peace deal struck at Minsk early last year has not ended the conflict in eastern Ukraine.
But Mogherini said EU policy would not change yet, although later this year there should be a "substantive political evaluation" of how to move forward.