MOSCOW, January 8 (Sputnik) — Adherence to the Minsk agreements is an important condition for the lifting of sanctions imposed on Russia by Western nations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Thursday.
"All provisions of the Minsk agreements need to be adhered to. Then the lifting of the sanctions can be discussed," Merkel told journalists.
She cited Crimea's reunification with Russia and the Ukrainian crisis as two major reasons for the implementation of the restrictive measures.
The United States, the European Union and some other Western nations imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia over Moscow's alleged involvement in the crisis in Ukraine, though the Russian government has repeatedly denied the allegations.
In September 2014, the parties involved in the conflict in Ukraine agreed to a ceasefire with the mediation of Russia and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE). However, both Kiev forces and independence supporters of eastern Ukraine have accused each other of violating the truce.