BERLIN, September 14. /TASS/. German Foreign Minister Zigmar Gabriel once again pointed on Thursday to a possibility of stage-by-stage lifting of anti-Russian sanctions, saying the deployment of UN peacekeepers in Donbass could prompt the first such move.
"I suggested long ago a phased lifting of sanctions in case of a gradual implementation of Minsk (agreements)," the Spiegel Online quoted the diplomat as saying.
"It is simply unrealistic to say that first these agreements must be implemented 100%, and only then we will take steps. A stable and long-term ceasefire would be a major step. For that, Russian President Vladimir Putin has made a proposal (about peacekeepers in Donbass) that reappraises the position he has adhered to up until now," the minister said.
"With this in view, an advice to us would be to respond to this initiative. Now we must promptly start talks in New York. If this (the deployment of peacekeepers) succeeds, if works out quickly, of course we should also take action and ease the sanctions," the foreign minister said.
Earlier, Russian President Vladimir Putin said that Russia plans to submit to the United Nations Security Council a resolution on the deployment of UN peacekeepers along the line of engagement in Donbass to ensure safety of the OSCE mission. He stressed however that deployment of UN peacekeepers could only be possible after weapons withdrawal from the area and upon agreement with the self-proclaimed Donbass republics. According to the Russian leader, the deployment of UN forces tasked to ensure the OSCE mission’s security will help solve the problem in southeastern Ukraine.