There are no grounds for lifting sanctions against Russia since the security situation in Eastern Ukraine has deteriorated. This was stated by German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka at a meeting in Prague, Censor.NET reports citing Channel 5.
The prime minister of Czech Republic stressed that the sanctions lifting was directly linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements, while the Kremlin was not fulfilling its obligations.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel supported this point saying that Germany and France were making efforts to achieve progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements. However, she stressed that the security situation in Ukraine's east had significantly deteriorated during the summer as the people, Ukrainian soldiers in the first place, were dying along the demarcation line every day. Therefore, according to Angela Merkel, it was hard to talk about lifting sanctions against Russia. In this regard, the German chancellor noted that the situation was constantly monitored and the talks with the Russian and Ukrainian presidents were held. She expressed hope that it would be possible to talk about some progress at the meeting of the European Council.
In turn, Czech Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka noted that the sanctions were linked with the implementation of the Minsk agreements while the European leaders repeatedly expressed support to the idea of sanctions easing in case of positive development in Minsk implementation.
As reported, EU leaders plan to revive the discussion of the Minsk agreements implementation on the European Council's informal summit in Bratislava scheduled for mid-September.