Sanctions against Russia must be extended until Moscow fully abides by the Minsk agreements, said Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevicius. The official stressed this during the UN Security Council session held in New York on December 11.
"Russia-backed militants should leave Donbas, withdraw their heavy weapons, release and exchange prisoners. Local elections in Donbas that are slated for spring 2016 can't be held under gun barrels, so the militants should leave to ensure fair and free election", Linkevicius said. The diplomat added that human rights in the rebel-held territories are systematically violated. "Forced labor, tortures, abductions and murders - this can't remain unpunished", he said.
Linkevicius urged ODIHR and OSCE missions in Ukraine to continue their work, adding that EU sanctions must remain in place until Russia fulfills all conditions of the Minsk agreement.