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Escalation in east Ukraine may entail more sanctions against Russia — Latvia FM

March 19, 2015, 13:36 UTC+3 OSLO

If the situation in Ukraine improves, Latvia will come out for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions

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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

OSLO, March 19. /TASS/. Latvia will come out for the lifting of anti-Russian sanctions if the Minsk Accords are implemented and the situation in Ukraine improves, Foreign Minister Edgards Rinkevic told TASS. He is accompanying Latvian President Andris Berzins on a state visit to Norway.

"Sanctions as such are not the EU’s ultimate aim. If the situation in Ukraine gets better, that will mean that the Minsk Accords have been implemented. Then we will come out for the easing or lifting of sanctions," Rinkevic said.

At the same time he remarked that a resumption of the standoff in the east of Ukraine might entail more measures against Russia.

"I would like to point out that we wish to see the observance of the Minsk Accords. Certain positive developments are already in sight," he said. "The ceasefire is observed by and large, despite casual violations. Also, we have been able to see the pullback of heavy weapons, although we would like this process to be faster. It goes without saying that both parties must comply with the achieved agreements and a great deal depends on their observance."

Rinkevic said that at a two-day meeting of the 28 EU heads of state and government opening in Brussels later today no decisions regarding more restrictive measures against Russia would be made.

"That question is not on the agenda," he said.

Latvia took over the rotating presidency of the EU Council for six months on January 1, 2015.

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