: Sanctions should be "gradually lifted" if Russia progresses in Minsk - Steinmeier

10:42 Jun. 11, 2016

Sanctions should be "gradually lifted" if Russia progresses in Minsk - Steinmeier

German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier (UNIAN Photo)

Germany Minister says E.U. should rethink its decision to cancel restrictions only after Minsk is fully implemented

Current E.U.'s position regarding sanctions against Russia hasn't been too productive. Europe should reconsider its intentions to cancel the economic restrictions only after Moscow fully abides by Minsk. This is according to the German Minister of Foreign Affairs Frank-Walter Steinmeier

He proposes to "gradually" lift the sanctions if the Kremlin progresses in implementing of the Minsk agreements. 

Read also: EU Ambassador Tombinski: No progress in settlement of Donbas conflict

"The West is following the "All or nothing" principle. This means only after the last section of Minsk is implemented, only then we could start thinking about lifting the sanctions. Previously, it didn't give Moscow stimuli to fasten the implementation of the agreement", the Minister said, according to Ukrainian media agency Ukrinform. 

He added, the E.U. didn't impose the sanctions to ruin Russia's economic, but to make it sit down at the negotiation table. 

"My proposition is, we shouldn't be forbidden to think about, if there is a smarter way of using the sanctions and Minsk. We should think about gradually lifting sanctions, if Russia makes significant progress on the peace deal implementation", Steinmeier stated

Read also: Poll: Three-quarters of Russians believe Russia should continue its policy despite sanctions

Earlier German Chancellor Angela Merkel said, sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukraine crisis were not to end in themselves and that implementation of the Minsk peace agreement was key to getting them lifted.

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