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Germany interested in improving relations with Russia — Merkel

This will take some time, notes the German Chancellor

BISHKEK, July 14. /TASS/. Germany is interested in soonest restoration of relations with Russia which soured after events in Crimea and east Ukraine, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

"However, this will require a lot of effort. This is a very complicated process," Merkel said after talks with Kyrgyzstan’s President Almazbek Atambayev in Bishkek. The chancellor noted that all conflict situations should be resolved by peaceful means. "They should be resolved diplomatically. This will take some time," she added.

A very important aspect is improving relations between the European Union (EU) and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). "Cooperation should develop in this sphere," she said. Merkel noted that Germany and France are working on facilitating the implementation of the Minsk Agreements and normalizing relations with Russia.

Atambayev in turn said Bishkek is interested in soonest normalization of relations between Brussels and Moscow. "We, as a Eurasian country, feel the consequences of the crisis in Ukraine and deterioration of relations between Russia and EU. That’s why we are interested in the soonest normalization of relations between EU and Russia," he added.

In 2014, the European Union imposed sanctions against Russia over developments in Ukraine and Crimea’s reunification with Russia and numerously broadened and extended them.

The EU suspended talks on the visa-free regime and a new basic cooperation agreement, imposed a ban on blacklisted Russian officials for their entry into the European Union and froze their assets, and also introduced other restrictions in the trade, financial and military spheres.

Overall, the EU blacklisted 151 Russian officials and 37 corporate entities. The EU’s sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil producing and defense structures.