EU firm on Russia sanctions:
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Friday that the European Union would maintain sanctions against Russia until Moscow makes progress on fulfilling its commitments under a peace plan for east Ukraine.
“Before the Minsk agreement has been implemented or progress has been made in that regard, we will not consider lifting sanctions on Russia,” Merkel told reporters in the Lithuanian capital Vilnius.
Berlin and Moscow, along with Paris, signed peace agreements in the Belarussian capital Minsk in 2015 intended to put an end to a conflict that has left more than 10,000 dead since it began in April 2014.
But Merkel said that the talks between Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany, known as the Normandy format, “may not have progressed as much as we would have wished them to”.
“Peace and reinstating the territorial integrity of Ukraine continue to be important topics for all of us here,” she added. (AFP)