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Withdrawal of troops from Rostov region may favour lifting EU sanctions — source

October 13, 2014, 14:27 UTC+3 BRUSSELS

If the withdrawal of troops is confirmed and goes along with the political proccess to end the combat actions in Ukraine, the European Comission will consider reviewing sanctions against Russia

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© ITAR-TASS/Yuri Smityuk

BRUSSELS, October 13. /TASS/. Withdrawal of Russian military troops after exercises in the Rostov region, bordering Ukraine, may favour lifting the EU sanctions against Russia, a diplomatic source in Brussels told TASS on Monday.

The source said the step will favour stabilisation of the situation in Ukraine, which is a key condition to review or lift anti-Russian sanctions.

“The withdrawal of the military should be confirmed and should go along with the political process aiming at full end of military actions in Ukraine’s south-east,” the diplomat said. “Only if all these conditions are observed, the EC [European Commission] will consider reviewing the regime of sanctions.”

The European Commission already expressed doubt its sanctions against Russia had practical influence on Russia’s policy towards Ukraine. The issue is still open, Federica Mogherini, who was appointed the EU’s foreign policy chief, thus having replaced Katherine Ashton, said on October 6.

On Sunday, October 12, Russia’s Defense Ministry confirmed officially the military involved in the exercises in the Rostov region began redeployment to their permanent bases. Over the summer period, 17,600 military participated in the exercises.

“Right now, the military units are returning, either by themselves or by railways, to their permanent bases,” the Defense Ministry said.

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