US, Germany: Russia sanctions must remain until Ukraine truce implemented
Story Code : 465516
In a statement released on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany on Sunday, the White House said US President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel “discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and agreed that the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia's full implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect for Ukraine's sovereignty.”
The two leaders met during a pre-summit meeting and privately discussed the matter.
Obama also urged his fellow G7 leaders earlier to stand up together against what he calls “Russian aggression in Ukraine.”
Warring parties in Ukraine decided to resume Minsk peace talks on May 6 as clashes started to intensify, raising the alarms of even more victims in a conflict that has a death toll of 6,400 since its start in April 2014.
The negotiations tried to enforce the peace deal reached in Minsk in February followed by an unreliable ceasefire regularly violated, often in a provocative manner by the Ukrainian side.
Finalized under pressure from Germany and France, the Minsk agreement urges Ukraine and pro-Russian forces to fulfill all of its conditions by the end of 2015.
A complete ceasefire and the pullback of heavy weaponry from the Ukrainian border are some of the conditions stated in the agreement.
The United States, the European Union, and Germany have all warned about the consequences of renewed violence in Ukraine.
According to reports, EU leaders are set to meet in Brussels to review a possible extension of anti-Russia sanctions that target the country’s banks and oil industry.
In an interview with an Italian newspaper published on Saturday, Russian President Vladimir Putin stated that his country is not a threat to the West.
"I would like to say - there's no need to be afraid of Russia," Putin told Corriere della Sera newspaper.
"The world has changed so much that people in their right mind cannot imagine such a large-scale military conflict today," he added.
Earlier, the Russian president slammed the West for their policies towards the Ukraine crisis, holding them responsible for the deterioration of the conflict.