MOSCOW, February 4. /TASS/. The extension of the anti-Russian sanctions was a mistake, Horst Seehofer, the prime minister of the German federal land of Bavaria, said on Thursday.
"It was a mistake," Seehofer said.
"We need to take into account the current situation, we cannot lift the sanctions immediately," he told reporters. "We should seek the cancellation of sanctions by political means."
"We should continue dialogue," Seehofer added. "Many problems, including the conflicts in Syria and Ukraine, cannot be resolved without Russia."
"The sanctions may be lifted in the foreseeable future," the minister-president of Bavaria said. "I told the Russian president at our meeting held yesterday that Kiev had commitments while Moscow also had its obligations," Seehofer went on to say.
"The sanctions were imposed over the situation in Ukraine. They are linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, which all the sides in conflict are supposed to implement. Hopefully, we are going to overcome this phase," Seehofer emphasized.
The Bavarian minister believes that apart from making life hard for business, the sanctions also create psychological problems, which withhold investments.
"It is important to give a sober assessment to the situation. If I had to decide alone, I would not have said that the sanctions should be lifted in February. That would have been a mistake," Seehofer said.
A Bavarian delegation will visit Moscow in the second half of 2016 to discuss joint projects on science, technology and culture, Bavarian Prime Minister went on to say.
Seehofer also announced his plans to visit Moscow this fall.
"The delegation comprising near 100 people will come to Moscow," he told reporters. "We hope that in the framework of the visit agreements in deferent spheres of cooperation will be reached and further implemented."
Summing up his visit to Moscow, Seehofer called it "well-timed, needed and successful."
Seehofer praised his dialogue with the Russian leadership as "sincere."
"This visit has shown that we should not stop at what we have achieved, despite the difficult period in Russian-German relations," he said.
Bavaria’s prime minister met with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin, Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov and Economic Development Minister Alexey Ulyukayev.
Russian Minister of Industry Denis Manturov and Prime Minister of Bavaria Horst Seehofer agreed on a German business mission to Russia this year, the Russian minister said on Thursday after the meeting.
"We agreed the Prime Minister [of Bavaria Horst Seehofer — TASS] will implement a business mission of the German business to Russia this year to discuss specific issues of cooperation," Manturov said. The Russian law on industrial policy effective since 2015 opens a range of opportunities for investors, the minister said. "The most important is to have a comfortable business climate and guarantees for implementation of projects. All these tools are now available with the Russian government — we assume it will be interesting for the German business," the official added.