MOSCOW, January 12 (Sputnik) – The European Union will seriously consider the issue of lifting sanctions against Russia if the situation in Ukraine improves, Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkēvičs said Monday.
“We believe that the sanctions that touch upon the situation in eastern Ukraine may be lifted when we see agreements that are not just signed, we have many good agreements…From this point of view, I would say that if we see actual progress, then, I would say, the European Union will be ready to seriously consider the issue of softening or lifting sanctions,” Rinkēvičs said during a joint press conference with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated following Crimea's reunification with Russia in March 2014. The United States and its allies introduced several rounds of sanctions over Russia's alleged role in the Ukrainian crisis, though Moscow has repeatedly denied these accusations.
The restrictive measures target Russia's banking, energy and defense sectors, as well as certain high-profile individuals.
Responding to the actions of the West, Moscow introduced in August 2014 a one-year ban on imports of many food products from the United States, the European Union and other countries that participated in the sanctions against Russia.