The German foreign Minister offered to consider a phased removal of sanctions from Russia

German foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier considers possible gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia in case of progress in resolving the situation in the Donbass. Such a statement of German foreign Minister sounded Monday during his speech at the “Potsdam meetings” the German-Russian forum in Berlin. The text of his speech Steinmeier published on the website of the German foreign Ministry.

“Sanctions are not an end in itself. And sanctions, of course, is not a means to force the other partner to kneel. No one is interested in the economic destruction of Russia”, – said the head of the German foreign Ministry.

He stressed that sanctions should act as an incentive for “political behavior focused on ending the conflict”. “That is, in the current situation, and rightly so from our point of view, to keep up the pressure, but with regard to the sanctions mechanism – this should be done reasonably, as I said last week,” said Steinmeier.

“The principle “all or nothing” does not bring us closer to the goal. At least at the moment. So my proposal is to include an element of incentive for both sides. In the case of significant progress should be possible the gradual lifting of existing sanctions,” he said.

Earlier, Steinmeier warned that in Europe, there is opposition to the extension of the sanctions, and agree on a common position will be difficult. For decisions on sanctions require the approval of all 28 EU members.

On minusa week, the G7 leaders at the summit in Japan supported the retention of sanctions against Russia. They stressed that “the duration of the sanctions is clearly linked with the full implementation by Russia of the Minsk agreements and respects the sovereignty of Ukraine”. At the same time, the “Big seven” warned that sanctions could be expanded if Russia’s actions would require such an approach.