Anti-Russian sanctions may be relaxed only if there is progress in the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, German Chancellor Angela Merkel stated on Tuesday in Berlin during the joint press conference with Ukrainian President Vladimir Zelensky.
"Until progress is reached, the sanctions cannot be lifted," she is quoted as saying by TASS.
"We are not talking about strengthening the sanctions, we are talking about the continuation [of the current sanctions regime]," the chancellor added.
In 2014, the European Union introduced sanctions against Russia in relation to the events in Ukraine and Crimea. Since then, it has repeatedly expanded and prolonged the sanctions, which affected Russia’s trade, economy and military affairs. Negotiations on visa-free travel and a new basic cooperation agreement have been suspended. The EU also banned entry to its member countries for certain Russian officials, freezing their assets. Russia has since introduced countersanctions.