EU Seeks Closer Relations With Russia, Sticks to Demands on Minsk Deal

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Germany's Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said that Germany is seeking to build closer and more reliable relations with Russia.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union is seeking to build closer relations with Russia but will be persistent regarding its demands of Moscow over Ukraine, Germany's Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth said Thursday.

"We are seeking to build closer and more reliable relations with Russia. Russia remains our neighbor, but we have to be persistent in our demands to Russia, for example, on the issue of the Minsk agreement fulfillment," Roth told reporters ahead of the EU Foreign Affairs council.

German Parliament building the Reichstag Building seen behind a pile of mud (File) - Sputnik International
Dialogue Beats Sanctions: Germany Should Have Known Russia Wouldn't Flinch
Relations between Russia and European Union deteriorated amid a 2014 crisis in Ukraine. The bloc and its allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions, accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict. Moscow has repeatedly refuted the allegations, stressing it is not a party in Ukraine conflict.

In February 2015, Russia, Germany, France and Ukraine worked out a ceasefire deal in Minsk later signed by Kiev and the Donbas militia. Despite the fact that the agreement was reached a year ago, both sides have been repeatedly reporting violations of the deal.

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