16:36 Jul. 29, 2016
Number of attacks by Russian-backed militants against Ukrainian positions increases
German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier holds open the possibility of step-by-step ease of the sanctions imposed on Russia. According to him, September could become the key date of the Minsk Agreements implementation.
"If we are able to achieve a significant success, then in my opinion nothing will impede us from the step-by-step ease of sanctions," he said during an interview with the Germany's Passauer Neue Presse on July 29.
Steinmeier also reminded Germany and France are jointly holding negotiations with Ukraine and Russia aimed at implementation of the Minsk Agreements.
As previously reported, the EU has reportedly mentioned the possible lift of the restrictive measures imposed on Russia in case of the ceasefire and withdrawal of the heavy weapons from Donbas contact line. Steinmeier already raised the issue of lifting the sanctions in May. Still, the EU decided to extend the restrictive measures imposed on Russia for another six months.
Meanwhile, the number of the attacks conducted by the Russian-backed militants against the Ukrainian soldiers is increasing. According to the OSCE reports, 16 Ukrainian soldiers were killed as a result of the escalation of the armed confrontations during last 10 days.