According to Mr. Röttgen, sanctions are a political response to Russia. He said that the West was ready to lift them as soon as it saw that Russia scaled down its military presence in Ukraine adding that the sanctions would remain until then. The politician also stressed that if there were no annexation of Crimea and the military intervention in Ukraine, everyone in Germany would continue declaring willingness to expand partnership with Russia. However, Germans were forced to change their attitude when Moscow launched its military aggression, he said
According to Röttgen, if the West accepts easing of the anti-Russian sanctions or even their abolition it will "lose its credibility".
The member of the Christian Democratic Union headed by Chancellor Angela Merkel deemed that the progress made in Ukraine was immense as democratic elections were held there. According to him, there is also independent press and freedom of expression in the country. Mr. Röttgen emphasized that reforming Ukraine was a difficult task even in time of peace not to mention accomplishing such an objective during the ongoing war. The German politician added that Kyiv had passed many laws aimed at combating corruption but the progress was insufficient in practical terms.
Asked about the possible future membership of Ukraine in the European Union, Bundestag Committee on Foreign Affairs chairman was pretty adamant saying that Ukraine was still very far from even mentioning the EU accession.