BERLIN, December 22. /TASS/. Sanctions against Russia should gradually be lifted if the ceasefire regime in eastern Ukraine is observed, deputy chairman of the faction of the Social Democratic Party of Germany in parliament Rolf Muetzenich said.
“If the next few weeks see the regime of ceasefire established in eastern Ukraine, the Minsk agreements implemented and the atmosphere become reliable from the viewpoint of politics and security, sanctions should be gradually revised and canceled,” Muetzenich was quoted by the Berliner Zeitung daily as saying.
He stated that the sanctions are not an end in itself.
On December 19, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier spoke against toughening the EU sanctions against Russia.
In mid-September, the EU Official Journal announced sanctions against some Russian companies.
Russian officials and companies came under the first batch of Western sanctions, including visa bans and asset freezes, after Russia incorporated Crimea in mid-March after a coup rocked Ukraine in February.
The West announced new, sectoral, restrictions against Russia in late July, in particular, for what the West claimed was Moscow’s alleged involvement in protests in Ukraine’s south-east.
In response, Russia imposed 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.
Russia has constantly dismissed Western allegations that it could in any way be involved in hostilities in the southeast of Ukraine.