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Russian Diplomat: EU sanctions absurd if Kiev fails to fulfil Minsk deal

The Russian deputy foreign minister says the EU extends the sanctions when there’s some progress in the Minsk process

BERLIN, September 2. /TASS/. The extension of the EU sanctions against Russia at a time when Kiev fails to fulfil the Minsk agreements, and as progress is observed in the Minsk process with the introduction of the ceasefire regime, is absurd, Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Alexei Meshkov said in an exclusive interview with TASS on Friday, commenting on reports by TASS sources that the EU in the coming days is going to extend sanctions against a number of Russian citizens and the east of Ukraine.

"As a rule, by quite a strange coincidence, the European Union always extends the sanctions when there’s some progress in the Minsk process," he said. "In particular, the ceasefire regime was introduced as of September 1, which has so far been quite well complied with".

"And extending sanctions against Russia for Kiev’s failure to fulfill the Minsk agreements - it’s at least absurd," Meshkov said.

Earlier, TASS sources said the EU was expected next week to extend for another half-a-year sanctions against 146 nationals of Russia and Ukraine’s self-proclaimed republics as well as against 37 organizations. These restrictions expire on September 15.