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 Hollande, Merkel advocate extending anti-Russian sanctions over Ukraine

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed desire to extend sanctions against Russia due to a lack of progress in implementing a ceasefire deal.

As reported by Censor.NET citing Reuters, the leaders of France and Germany told a press briefing in Berlin, Germany, speaking two days before an EU summit which will discuss the conflict in eastern Ukraine.

EU leaders will on Thursday discuss extending sanctions, which include restricting access to international financing and curbs on defense and energy cooperation with Russia.

Read more: Russia sanctions to be prolonged after EU leaders meet on Dec. 15, - Reuters

Merkel, speaking with Hollande who was visiting a Franco-German conference on the digital economy in Berlin, said implementation of the ceasefire deal was "very sluggish".

"It will be necessary to extend the sanctions against Russia again - although we would have wished for better progress in the implementation of this process," she said.

Read more: Our support for Ukraine prevented Russian troops from reaching Kyiv, - Kerry

Hollande agreed. "We must continue to apply the terms of the Minsk agreement and when they are not carried out, we must continue with sanctions," he said.

The sanctions were extended several times and are due to expire at the end of January.

   
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