: Reuters: Poland says lifting Russia sanctions now would weaken E.U. authority

12:15 Jun. 1, 2016

Reuters: Poland says lifting Russia sanctions now would weaken E.U. authority

A Russian 1 Ruble coin on the Russian flag with the state coat of arms (Getty Images)

A former Soviet satellite, Poland has been a vocal critic of Russia's actions in Ukraine

The European Union must not ease sanctions on Russia until the so-called Minsk peace agreement is fully implemented, as this would weaken the bloc's position in its relations with Moscow, Poland's Deputy Foreign Minister Konrad Szymanski told Reuters.

Szymanski's comments come amid suggestions that the E.U. may begin to ease its sanctions on Russia later this year.

Read also Germany offers to soften sanctions on Russia

While diplomats in Brussels expect the 28-nation bloc to extend the sanctions, which were introduced over Moscow's role in the conflict in Ukraine and expire in July, they also say that intensifying high-level contacts with Russia two years after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine may signal a thaw.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker's plans to meet President Vladimir Putin in June in Russia. Juncker wrote to Putin in November suggesting closer trade ties between the EU and the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. 

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