"We in Germany and France have a clear position on the sanctions," Gabriel said during the news conference with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault, Reuters reports.

"We wish to implement the Minsk peace process ... And that is the only way that sanctions can be lifted," he said.

Read alsoExperts on policies of Germany’s new FM: no changes regarding Ukraine as long as Merkel plays first fiddleGabriel said he and Ayrault also agreed that it was important that Germany and France express strong unified positions on issues. He said the two countries would create bilateral working groups to address issues such as Ukraine and Russia.