"We cannot lift sanctions against Russia during gradual implementation of Minsk agreements... Russia has kept Ukraine under the trade restrictions for two years bringing it to the poor condition to the moment when it invaded the Ukrainian territory."
He also emphasized the inadmissibility of the position of several politicians who artificially reduce Russia's role in the creation of conflict in Ukraine.
"It seems that everyone is guilty except Russia. But I remind you that it was Russia that invaded another country," he said.
However, this does not mean the end of political dialogue with Moscow, he added.
"We must continue the dialogue with the Russian Federation and all the opportunities for this must remain open. It is a pity that there will be no meeting in Astana but this is due to the fact that Russia has made such a meeting impossible," Elmar Brok said.