WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — The EU and the United States imposed a series of sanctions against Russia, beginning in 2014 as they accused Moscow of interference in Ukraine's internal affairs.
“We look forward to the EU’s upcoming vote on extending its sanctions against Russia. We have worked closely with the EU to maintain economic pressure on Russia until the full implementation of Minsk, and believe strongly that this remains the appropriate benchmark,” Szubin said in London.
The anti-Russian sanctions are set to expire in January. The 28-nation bloc is likely to agree to prolong them for another six months at an EU foreign ministers’ meeting on December 15, an EU diplomatic source told RIA Novosti last week.
“An EU vote to extend sanctions will make clear to the Russian government that economic normalization will not happen until it reverses its aggressive and destabilizing activities in Ukraine,” Szubin said.
Russia has repeatedly denied the allegations, asserting instead its desire for a diplomatic settlement to the conflict and noting its contribution to the Ukrainian peace process.
The official noted that Washington does not want to “be in a state of conflict” with Moscow, and is prepared to ease sanctions if the Minsk agreements on Ukraine reconciliation are implemented.
“Until that time, though, together with our allies we are prepared to sustain and, if necessary, increase the pressure on Russia,” Szubin added.