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BRUSSELS, March 20. /TASS/. European Union member states have "considerable gaps" in their approaches to sanctions against Russia and their extension, Russia’s ambassador to the EU Vladimir Chizhov said on Friday.
"I think the linkage [of the sanctions decision] to the full implementation of the Minsk agreements is the result of a long discussion within the European Union," the Russian envoy said.
European Union leaders said at their summit on Thursday they would not lift sanctions against Russia until the peace agreement reached in Minsk on eastern Ukraine was implemented in full.
"It is not a secret that there are considerable gaps between member states in their approaches to the sanctions and their further fate. That is why, the formulation, which was used, has the clear signs of a compromise," Chizhov said, commenting on the results of the EU summit.
The Russian envoy said he expected the EU to return to the issue of extending the sanctions against Russia only at the June summit.
"I won’t guess. As far as I understand, they will return to this issue only in June at their next European Council meeting," the Russian envoy said in reply to a question about whether he expected the EU to extend the sanctions against Russia after such a decision by the European Council.
Elements of impartiality have appeared in the evaluation of reforms in Ukraine by the European Union, Vladimir Chizhov went on to say, commenting on the results of the EU summit.
"There’re elements of impartiality in the evaluation of the reform process in Ukraine. It’s no coincidence that the resolutions passed by the EU summit refer to the conditions put forward by the International Monetary Fund. The comments on the progress achieved by Ukraine on the path of reforms are reserved. At the very least, they are far more reserved than in the previous EU documents, where everything was hailed, encouraged and so on. Now all this is just taken into consideration," the Ambassador said.