Staged lift of sanctions against Russia has to be connected to the resolution process of the situation in eastern Ukraine, Chancellor of Austria Sebastian Kurz said this in his interview to Rheinische Post.
‘Yet being a minister of foreign affairs, I believed that it is necessary to link the phased lifting of sanctions with positive steps in Ukraine in a concrete manner, this was proposed by then German foreign minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier. So, the first step would be to establish a real ceasefire in eastern Ukraine, the Chancellor said.
Kurz believes that in the past few months there has been too little progress in establishing a truce.
Earlier it was reported that the reason for the EU decision to continue sanctions against Russia for another six months was zero progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
These restrictive measures were first introduced on July 31, 2014, for a period of one year in response to Russia's actions to destabilize the situation in Ukraine. They were reinforced in September 2014. On March 19, 2015, the European Council linked the duration of the sanctions with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
The measures relate to the financial, energy and defense sectors, as well as dual-use goods.