Lifting of Sanctions Against Russia Dependent on Ukrainian Integrity - EU

EU | December 19, 2014, Friday // 10:52|  views

(L-R) Italy`s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi European Council President Donald Tusk and European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker give a final press conference at the end of EU heads of states and governments at EU council headquarter in Brussels. Ph

The EU's relationship with Russia and the crisis in Ukraine were among the main topics on the agenda of the European Council summit that was held in Brussels on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that the EU is not to lift the sanctions against Russia unless Russian President Vladimir Putin is willing to make major concessions, EUobserver reports.

Merkel explained that each batch of sanctions was applied for specific reasons and they can be lifted only when their respective causes have been removed.

The German Chancellor revealed that the 28 EU heads of state or government had decided during the summit that Ukrainian integrity will be a requirement for lifting the sanctions.

Merkel, who had spoken over the phone with Putin on Wednesday, said that he has made many promises, but Russia still has to fulfill some of the provisions of the Minsk agreement.

In a similar fashion, British Prime Minister David Cameron added that the sanctions will be continued until Russia changes its behaviour and stops aggression against Ukraine.

Cameron hinted at easing the current economic situation of Russia, aggravated by the sanctions and the low oil prices, but Moscow had to bow down first.

French President Francois Hollande was not as harsh, saying that there was no need for new sanctions and the holding of the latest ceasefire provided prospects for the end of the crisis.

Hollande stated that now was not the right moment for the delivery of the two Mistral warships to Russia.

President of the European Council Donald Tusk expressed his satisfaction with the unified stance of the EU towards Russia, hoping that the Union will be able to help Ukraine to overcome its economic problems.

Tusk desribed Russia as a long-term strategic challenge, which requires practical and pragmatic counter-measures.

President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker condemned Russian violations of international law.

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Tags: EU, European Council, summit, Russia, Ukraine, integrity, lifting, sanctions, Angela Merkel, David Cameron, francois hollande, Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Juncker, Vladimir Putin


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