Sochi: German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that European Union sanctions will have to remain on Russia given the lack of progress in resolving the simmering conflict in Ukraine.
Addressing a joint press conference with Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Tuesday, Merkel said that a ceasefire is required as part of the so-called Minsk process for restoring peace in eastern Ukraine and appealed to Putin to make it happen. Merkel said that she would like to be able to lift the economic penalties but the Minsk process remains “arduous" with small steps forward and steps back.
“My goal remains to get to the point where we can lift EU sanctions," Merkel said. “But there’s a link here."
Merkel, who met with President Donald Trump at the White House in March, is visiting Putin in her capacity as holder of the presidency of the Group of 20 nations. As well as Ukraine, Merkel and Putin discussed Syria and the G-20 summit in Hamburg in July, when both the Russian and US presidents are due to meet for the first time. Bloomberg