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MOSCOW, April 6. /TASS/. Austria is a loyal member of the European Union and sticks to the regime of sanctions, but implementation of the Minsk Agreements may lead to their cancelation, Austrian President Heinz Fischer said Wednesday at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"Of course, those who are interested in the development of good economic relations between Europe and Russia are not contented with the existence of sanctions and would like to lift them," Fischer said.
"But I would like to note that Austria is a loyal member of the EU and, as a loyal EU member, which it would like to remain, should adhere to decisions adopted regarding Russia," he said.
"But the key toward the resolution of problems is the Minsk process and there are certain opportunities here for resolution of those issues," Fischer said.
The president of Austria underscored that implementation of the Minsk Agreements is closely connected with cancelation of sanctions. He said he is ready to discuss with Putin both bilateral relations, including in the economic sphere, and international relations, including the situation in Syria.
For incorporation of Crimea after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, Russia came under sanctions on the part of the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon intensified following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia supported militias in self-proclaimed republics in Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in destabilization of Ukraine.
The Russian authorities have repeatedly denied accusations of "annexing" Crimea, because Crimea reunified with Russia voluntarily after a referendum, as well as claims that Moscow could in any way be involved in hostilities in Ukraine’s east.
Participants of the Contact Group on settlement of the situation in Donbass on February 12, 2015 signed in Minsk the Package of Measures on implementation of the Minsk Agreements, earlier agreed with members of the Normandy Four (Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine).
The document, dubbed "Minsk-2", envisions in particular pardon through enactment of a law forbidding persecution and punishment of people in relation to events in Donbass, cessation of fire, withdrawal of heavy armaments from the contact line.
It also stipulates start of dialogue on restoration of social and economic ties of Kiev and Donbass, as well as reform of the Ukrainian constitution aimed at decentralization and strengthening of the "special status of separate districts of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions".
The ceasefire regime took effect in Syria on February 27. Shortly before, the UN Security Council adopted a resolution supporting a cessation of hostilities. The document drafted by Russia and the United States was backed by all 15 Security Council member states.
The ceasefire regime does not cover the Islamic State and Jabhat al-Nusra terrorist organizations as well as other groups ruled terrorist by the Security Council.