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Senior German official to visit Moscow next week to discuss economic ties

September 16, 12:25 UTC+3 BERLIN
On Friday, the resolution of the EU Council to extend sanctions against Russia until March 15, 2017 came into force
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BERLIN, September 16. /TASS/. German Economy Minister and Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel is due to pay a visit to Moscow on September 21-22 to discuss bilateral economic relations with Russia’s government officials, the ministry said on Friday.

"The consultations are scheduled with many Russian government members on economic relations of Russia and Germany and also with the European Union," the ministry said. "Besides, a meeting with the representatives of the German businesses working in Russia is planned."

The German-Russian trade turnover has seriously dropped of late, the ministry said. "In the first six months of 2016, the decrease was 13.7% compared with the same period of last year. The export fell by 20.6% from 15.4 billion euros to 12.2 billion euros," it said.

Gabriel has repeatedly called for lifting the anti-Russian sanctions introduced by the EU. In June, Gabriel and German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for removing the sanctions in exchange for significant progress in implementing the Minsk agreements.

Brussels insists that it is ready to lift sanctions against Moscow only when the Minsk peace deal is implemented in full.

On Friday, the resolution of the EU Council to extend sanctions against Russia until March 15, 2017 came into force. To date, the blacklist consists of 146 individuals and 37 legal entities of Russia and Ukraine.

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