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Minsk accords to help lift sanctions against Russia — economy minister

February 13, 2015, 13:01 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The sanctions are a game with no winners, a game with a negative sum and it is necessary to exit this situation as quickly as possible, Russia's Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev says

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Ukraine peace talks in Minsk

Ukraine peace talks in Minsk

© Alexei Druzhinin/Russian presidential press service/TASS

MOSCOW, February 13. /TASS/. The accords reached at the summit in Minsk on Thursday on a ceasefire and heavy weaponry pullout in east Ukraine will help lift sanctions against Russia, Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev said on Friday.

"I believe they [the Minsk accords] are real, serious and substantive," Ulyukayev said.

"As a whole, I’m deeply convinced that we’re gradually finding possibilities for resolving these problems [lifting the sanctions]. As it seems to me, all the sides, especially business, have got tired of that," he said.

It is currently difficult to assess the effect of the Minsk accords reached on Thursday, Ulyukayev said.

"As you know, the agreements stipulate a certain schedule. The schedule commencement relates to the ceasefire, the pullout of heavy armaments and further measures with the schedule of implementation until February 25," the economy minister said.

The implementation of these measures will make it clear "how well the sides are fulfilling the conditions," Ulyukayev said.

Today contradictory statements are coming from European colleagues about new sanctions against Russia, the economy minister said.

Some statements suggest the sanctions will not develop further and the issue of their curtailment is under consideration. On the other hand, other statements say the decisions on tightening the sanctions may come into force already from February 16. This information needs to be verified, the economy minister said.

The sanctions are "a game, in which there are no winners. This is a game with a negative sum and we’re undoubtedly aimed at exiting this situation as quickly as possible," Ulyukayev said.

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