: Reuters: Germany's Steinmeier favors gradual phasing-out of Russia sanctions

17:42 Jun. 19, 2016

Reuters: Germany's Steinmeier favors gradual phasing-out of Russia sanctions

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier (AP Photo)

On June 18, EU published details of its decision extending sanctions against Russia for its 2014 takeover of Ukraine's Crimea

The European Union should gradually phase out sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukraine crisis if there is substantial progress in the peace process, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted on Sunday, June 18, as saying.

His comments reflect divisions within Germany's ruling right-left coalition over policy toward Russia. Steinmeier's Social Democrats (SPD) back a more conciliatory stance toward Moscow than Chancellor Angela Merkel's conservative bloc.

Read also Sanctions help our economy and should stay - Russian senior official

Merkel has repeatedly said that sanctions imposed against Russia can only be lifted once the peace agreement to end the conflict in Ukraine is fully implemented, not only partially.

Steinmeier struck a different tone. "Sanctions are not an end in themselves. They should rather give incentives for a change in behavior," Steinmeier told the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland, a network of local newspapers. Full story 

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