17:42 Jun. 19, 2016
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.
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