Juncker urged not to associate your visit to Russia with lifting of sanctions

The head of the European Commission during his visit to Paris on may 31 said that they do not attend the St. Petersburg international economic forum (SPIEF) will be more of economic than political in nature, France 24 reports, citing AFP. He urged not to link their trip to Russia with the possible lifting of sanctions.

“My visit to St. Petersburg, which is more economic than political in nature will not be an occasion for the European Union to announce any changes in our relationship with Russia”, — said Juncker.

According to head EK, he won’t change “overall assessment of the actions of [Russian President Vladimir] Putin and the EU”.

Juncker also expressed support for the position G7, announced last week at the summit in Japan, which is that the lifting of sanctions depends on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. He said he repeatedly told Vladimir Putin that “sanctions will remain unchanged, until you complete the Minsk agreement”.

That Jean-Claude Juncker has accepted an invitation to attend the economic forum in Saint-Petersburg, may 30, reported the official representative of the European Commission. This information was confirmed by press Secretary of the President of Russia Dmitry Peskov. He also admitted Juncker’s meeting with Putin. The EC argued that Juncker is using his visit to “convey to the Russian leadership, as well as to a wider audience the EU perspective on the current state of relations between Russia and the European Union”.

Forum 2016 will be held from 16 to 18 June. According to a source in the organizing Committee of the forum, “political star” on it will become the Prime Minister of Italy Matteo Renzi. From big businessmen have confirmed their participation Alibaba founder Jack MA, the head of Siemens Joe KAESER, the head of Total Patrick Pouyanne, and several others.

SPIEF will take place two weeks before the EU summit (on 28-29 June), which will consider the question of extension of sanctions against Russia by six months. According to Bloomberg, all 28 EU countries support the extension of sanctions against Russia.