German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier announced in an interview to RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland net of newspapers, Censor.NET reports citing Reuters.
"Sanctions are not an end in themselves. They should rather give incentives for a change in behavior," he said.
The minister said he was in favor of lifting sanctions gradually if the Russian government showed it was doing its part in implementing the Minsk peace plan for Ukraine, adding: "An all or nothing approach, even if it sounds good, doesn't work."
Steinmeier rejected criticism that he was acting like an "advocate for the Kremlin."
Earlier, the EU and U.S. imposed sanctions against Russia for its aggression and occupation of Crimea and the Donbas.
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