11:57 May. 26, 2016
German Foreign Minister expects difficult negotiations on prolonging restrictions
European Union is going to have a hard time negotiating to prolong the sanctions against Russia. Some E.U. members are not satisfied with the economic restrictions imposed on Moscow over the conflict in Ukraine. And compared to the last year, this time it will be harder to reach a consensus.
This is according to German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier.
"The resistance to the sanctions is growing in the E.U. Germany is doing all it can to ensure that Europe has a united front on this issue", Steinmeier said in an interview with the Baltic News Service (BNS).
Steinmeier also reminded, the sanctions were inextricably connected to the implementation of the Minsk agreements. While the Minister didn't point at any particular country, Italy and Hungary had been the most skeptical regarding the sanctions.
At the same time the German official claimed, Europe needed to continue dialogue with Russia to work on global issues. Among the problems Steinmeier mentioned crises in Syria and Libya.
European Union imposed economic sanction against Russia in July 2014 and reinforced them in September. In 2015 the E.U. linked the restrictions to the complete implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Earlier Donald Tusk, the President of the European Council announced, the sanctions would remain, since there had been no progress in the Minsk deal.