BERLIN, August 15./TASS/. German Vice Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel spoke on Monday in favor of mending relations with Russia.
"We urgently need better relations with Russia," DPA quoted Sigmar Gabriel as saying in German city of Oberhausen, Nordrhein-Westfalen.
He said this did not mean that Germany should like "all that goes on, first of all (Moscow’s) action in Syria". "However, we know that without Russia we cannot achieve progress either in Ukraine or in Syria," the news agency quoted Sigmar Gabriel, who is also Economics Minister.
Besides, he spoke in favor of easing anti-Russian sanctions on condition progress was reached in the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine.
Following the incorporation of Crimea after the 2014 coup in Ukraine, Moscow came under sanctions on from the United States and many European countries. The restrictive measures were soon ramped up following Western and Ukrainian claims that Russia was supporting the militias in self-proclaimed republics of Ukraine’s southeast and was involved in the destabilization of Ukraine.
As countermeasures, on August 6, 2014, Russia imposed a produce ban on imports of beef, pork, poultry, fish, cheeses, fruit, vegetables and dairy products from Australia, Canada, the European Union, the United States and Norway.
On July 1, the European Union extended the sectoral economic sanctions against Russia until January 31, 2017. Reciprocally, Moscow has also lengthened the titfor-tat embargo imposed two years ago.