German Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated Germany’s commitment to sanctions on Russia until a real cease-fire is achieved in Ukraine.
“Before the Minsk agreement has been implemented or progress has been made in that regard, we will not consider lifting sanctions on Russia,” Merkel said.
Addressing Baltic Leaders in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Friday September 14, Merkel said that the Minsk Agreement concluded in 2015 remains unfulfilled by Moscow. The agreement brokered by the Belarusian government in cooperation with France and Germany envisaged the end of violence in eastern Ukraine.
Germany and all EU member states hold Russia responsible for separatist fighting activity in eastern Ukraine, while the Kremlin has consistently denied political responsibility for their action. The war in Ukraine has cost the lived of an estimated 10,300 civilians since April 2014.
Moreover, the EU considers the formal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula to the Russian Federation illegal.
The Chancellor’s visit to Lithuania was in preparation to the EU heads of state summit in Salzburg, Austria on Thursday, September 20. 450 German troops are stationed in Lithuania as part of a NATO force deployed in the Baltic States to defend the region against Russia; Moscow considers the deployment of the troops a provocation.