German FM Proposes the Gradual Lifting of Sanctions on Russia
EU and US Sanctions Have Been Introduced in Response to Russian Support for Separatists in Eastern UkraineJune 03rd, 2016
On Monday German Foreign Minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, presented his proposal to begin gradually lifting EU sanctions on Russia. In the event of progress towards a resolution of the conflict in Ukraine (in accordance with the Minsk agreements), constructive dialogue between Berlin and Moscow should facilitate the defence of European values.
Since Russia's annexation of Crimea in March, the EU and US have ratcheted up sanctions several times, tightening restrictions on major Russian state banks and corporations. In short, all sectors managed by the powerful elite who surround President Vladimir Putin.
Russian state banks have been excluded from raising long-term loans in the EU, exporting dual-use equipment for military use in Russia. Future EU-Russia arms deals have also been ruled out. Russia has constantly rejected the allegations, stating that Moscow does not formally take part in the Ukrainian conflict, warning also that the sanctions are counterproductive and will ultimately undermine global stability.
Ukrainian authorities, along with a number of German politicians, have criticised the proposal of the German Foreign Minister to gradually lift sanctions on Russia, claiming that Mr. Steinmeier is "moving in the wrong direction."
The extension of EU economic sanctions against Russia (due to expire in July) is likely to be on the agenda of the EU leaders' summit, scheduled for June 28-29. A number of European entrepreneurs and politicians have repeatedly criticised restrictive measures, citing their negative impact on the European economy and resistance against further anti-Russian sanctions is widely growing. An increasing number of European countries are also criticising restrictive measures imposed on Russia and are calling for them to be withdrawn.
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News from Berlin
Jessica Sama, Berlin Global