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EU does not plan to impose new economic sanctions on Russia - Merkel

November 12, 2014, 4:58 UTC+3 BERLIN
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BERLIN, November 11. /TASS/. The European Union does not plan to impose new economic sanctions against Russia, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said after talks with Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Tuesday.

“We are discontented with the fact that many points of the Minsk agreement on a ceasefire are not observed. Nevertheless, imposition of further economic sanctions is not planned for now. We are focused on the approach of the winter period, on the humanitarian situation in the region and establishment of a ceasefire regime,” Merkel said.

The head of the German government said the only new sanctions possible include extension of the list of persons banned from entry to the European Union and whose accounts are to be frozen. She said new penalties could be imposed on those who supported elections in the self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics.

Presidential and parliamentary elections were held in the Donetsk and Luhansk republics November 2. The EU claimed they were illegitimate. The Russian Foreign Ministry said Moscow “respects the will expression of the residents of the southeast [of Ukraine].”

Merkel stressed she will continue talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and Ukrainian leader Pyotr Poroshenko to seek ways to settle the Ukrainian crisis.

The West, inspired by the United States, subjected Russian officials and companies to the first batch of sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March after a coup in Ukraine in February.

New, sectoral, penalties against Russia were announced in late July over Moscow’s position on Ukrainian events, in particular, what the West claimed was Russia’s alleged involvement in hostilities in Ukraine’s embattled southeast.

Russia responded with imposing on August 6 a one-year ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the EU, the United States and Norway.

Moscow has repeatedly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.

Fierce clashes between troops loyal to Kiev and local militias in the Donetsk and Luhansk regions during Kiev’s military operation, conducted since mid-April, to regain control over the breakaway southeastern territories, which call themselves the Donetsk and Luhansk People’s republics, have killed over 4,000 people.

The parties to the Ukrainian conflict agreed on a ceasefire at talks mediated by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) on September 5 in Belarusian capital Minsk two days after Putin proposed his plan to settle the situation in the east of Ukraine.

The ceasefire took effect the same day but has reportedly occasionally been violated.

The Trilateral Contact Group on Ukraine comprising representatives of Ukraine, Russia and the OSCE adopted a memorandum on September 19 in Minsk, which outlined the parameters for the implementation of commitments on the ceasefire in Ukraine laid down in the Minsk Protocol of September 5.

The nine-point document in particular stipulates a ban on the use of all armaments and withdrawal of weapons with the calibers of over 100 millimeters to a distance of 15 kilometers from the contact line from each side. The OSCE was tasked with controlling the implementation of memorandum provisions.

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