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EU Should Uphold Anti-Russia Sanctions to Support Ukraine - Tusk

© Sputnik / Go to the mediabankEuropean Council President Donald Tusk
European Council President Donald Tusk - Sputnik International
The European Union should support Ukraine by maintaining sanctions pressure on Russia until the Minsk agreements are implemented completely, European Council President Donald Tusk said on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
Lifting Sanctions Against Russia Premature at Present Stage - Merkel
MOSCOW (Sputnik) The West has imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Russia blaming Moscow for fueling the conflict in Ukraine. Last month, Kiev and independence militias from southeast Ukraine signed a ceasefire deal in Minsk.

"Of course, we will also discuss Ukraine and Russia and the state of play on the implementation of the Minsk agreements. One of the best ways of supporting Ukraine will be through upholding the sanctions pressure on Russia until we witness a full implementation of the Minsk Agreements," he said at a press conference.

According to Tusk, sanctions can be lifted after Ukraine regains control over its borders.

On Tuesday, Finnish Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja said that the former Prime Minister of Poland will press EU leaders during the meeting in Brussels on Thursday and Friday to uphold sanctions until the Minsk agreements are fulfilled.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel - Sputnik International
Obama, Merkel Agree to Maintain Sanctions on Russia

Several EU member states, including Greece, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary, have expressed skepticism over the efficiency of the restrictive measures against Russia and lamented that they hurt their own economies.

Last August, Moscow introduced a ban on the import of a range of food items from those countries that supported the restrictions as a countermeasure to Western sanctions.

Earlier on Thursday, Russian Izvestia newspaper reported, citing a source close to Russia's Foreign Ministry, that more than 200 EU and US politicians and officials are on a list of foreign nationals who could be banned from entering Russia.

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