Merkel expressed support for the extension of sanctions against Russia

According to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, to talk about the lifting of EU sanctions against Russia too early. She stated, speaking at the G7 summit in Japan, according to Reuters.

In late December, the EU extended the sanctions for six months, and in late June, Brussels needs to take a new decision.

In late April, US President Barack Obama after a meeting with Merkel stated that, in their joint opinion, the sanctions should be lifted only after a political settlement of the crisis in Eastern Ukraine. The Chancellor has said, “a stable cease-fire still could not be reached”. She also noted that “we need progress in the political process”.

In mid-may, the foreign Minister of the European Union Federica Mogherini stated that, in her opinion, the sanctions against Russia will be extended. “EU leaders have linked the lifting of sanctions with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. They have not been achieved,” she said.

According to unofficial data, Bloomberg, all 28 members are configured to extend sanctions, but the final decision is still pending. Before the G7 summit, the European Council Donald Tusk said: “I want to be clear that our position in relation to Russia, including economic sanctions, will remain unchanged as long as the Minsk agreement are not met in full”.

The source of “RIA Novosti” in Brussels said that, according to him, the forthcoming extension of the sanctions will last, and with the end of the year will begin their gradual undoing.

West links the lifting of sanctions with the implementation of the agreements concluded in Minsk between the militias of Donbass and Ukrainian authorities. Russia, along with Germany and France, is the guarantor of these agreements.

The agreements specifically provide for the withdrawal of heavy weapons from the contact line, the exchange of prisoners, ensuring access of the Ukrainian armed forces to the border with Russia and holding of elections on the territories controlled by the militia, in accordance with the Ukrainian legislation.