Merkel rejects possibility of gradual lifting of sanctions against Russia
Germany rejects the idea of gradually lifting the sanctions imposed by the EU against Russia in response to the Kremlin's aggressive policy towards Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin at a joint press conference with Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatseniuk on Thursday, according to German broadcaster Deutsche Welle.
According to Merkel, the partial implementation of the Minsk Protocol is not enough to start lifting sanctions.
"It is impossible to consider the definition of the demarcation line between the pro-Russian separatists and Ukrainian military or the establishment of a reliable control on the Russian-Ukrainian border in isolation from each other. So I think that we should see the implementation of all the Minsk agreements before making a decision on lifting the sanctions," she said.
Merkel was responding to proposals made by some politicians in the European Union that there be a gradual weakening of sanctions against Moscow if the Minsk Protocol is gradually implemented.
"We don’t see any chances for lifting the sanctions imposed in response to the Russian annexation of Crimea. In March, the EU has to decide on the continuation or cancellation of sanctions against Russia, which were adopted for one year," Merkel said.