27 October 2016

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EU shows signs of disunity on issue of anti-Russian sanctions

EU diplomats say sanctions against Russia in one sector might be lifted next year, according to Reuters.


"The sanctions would probably not all be lifted at once, but there could be a decision to lift them in one sector next year," Reuters reported quoting one of the diplomats from a country, which favors their continuation, as saying.

A diplomatic source told Reuters that European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker had attended the Economic Forum held in Russia’s Saint Petersburg, being least partly motivated by a fear that the bloc's unity on sanctions was flagging.

"Juncker came because he was worried that member states were talking to Russia separately. He wanted to try to take back the initiative," said the diplomat.

"Russia is constantly trying to find a way around the sanctions, targeting countries it thinks are softer. They are trying to kill the sanctions with a softly softly approach," one of the diplomats, from a country which favors their continuation, told Reuters.

As UNIAN reported earlier, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier has not ruled out the easing of sanctions against Russia. "In my mind, if we achieve considerable success, nothing will interfere with the gradual easing of sanctions," he said in an interview with Passauer Neue Presse published July 29.

It should be recalled that on July 1, the European Union approved the decision taken earlier to prolong for another six months the economic sanctions against Russia introduced as a response to its actions in Ukraine.

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