The Austrian foreign Ministry offered to lift sanctions for each step in the Minsk agreements

The Minister for foreign Affairs of Austria Sebastian Kurz believes that the EU should start to seek common ground with Moscow to lift sanctions for implementation of the Minsk agreements. The head of depodesta said in the TV channel ORF TV.

“I am convinced that we should gradually come to the conclusion that for implementation of each item of the Minsk Protocol, for every step in this direction, will gradually withdraw sanctions,” said Kurtz (quoted by Reuters).

He also stressed that this would be a strong signal of easing tensions and expressed hope that this position will be agreed by the EU in the medium term.

Economic sanctions against Russia were imposed by the EU and the USA in spring 2014. The occasion was the growing conflict in Eastern Ukraine and a referendum on accession to Russia of the Crimean Peninsula. In response, Moscow imposed a food embargo.

On may 27, 2016, the Prime Minister of Russia Dmitry Medvedev instructed to prepare proposals for the extension of the predamage to the end of 2017, citing a concern for the interests of domestic agriculture.

Next week, the EU could consider the question of extending the anti-Russian sanctions. As reported by Bloomberg in late may, the 28 countries of the EU, decided to extend them for another six months.