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Anti-Russia Sanctions Could Be Lifted Once Minsk Deal Implemented - German FM

© REUTERS / Fabrizio BenschGerman Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin Germany, December 19, 2016
German Economy Minister Sigmar Gabriel addresses a news conference in Berlin Germany, December 19, 2016 - Sputnik International
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Berlin and Paris reiterated that the implementation of the Minsk deal (which is Kiev's obligation) will pave the way for lifting sanctions against Russia.

PARIS (Sputnik) — Anti-Russia sanctions could be lifted if the Minsk peace agreements are implemented, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said Saturday after a meeting with his French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault.

"Germany and France have a clear position on the sanctions… We want to see the Minsk agreements implemented and that's the only condition for the sanctions relief," Gabriel said.

Ayrault noted that a long-lasting solution to the situation in Ukraine was needed.

"I'm talking about the Minsk deal implementation, first and foremost, which should be realized as soon as possible. And it should be done in a productive and constructive dialogue with Russia, open and resolute. It is essential to avoid the Cold War logic," Ayrault said.

Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko examines a British-made Saxon armored personnel carrier with a Ukrainian weapon system while visiting a military base outside Kiev on April 4, 2015 - Sputnik International
Freudian Slip? Poroshenko Speaks of 'Temporary Ukrainian Occupation' in Donbass
The Donbass conflict erupted in April 2014 as a local counter-reaction to the West-sponsored Maidan coup in Kiev that had toppled legitimate President Viktor Yanukovych in February. Residents of the Donetsk and Lugansk regions held independence referendums and proclaimed the People's Republics of Donetsk and Lugansk. Kiev has since been conducting a military operation, encountering stiff local resistance.

In February 2015, Kiev forces and Donbass independence supporters signed a peace agreement in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. The deal stipulates a full ceasefire, weapons withdrawal from the line of contact in Donbass, as well as constitutional reforms that would give a special status to the Donetsk and Lugansk People's Republics. Despite the agreement, the ceasefire regime is regularly violated, with both sides accusing each other of multiple breaches, undermining the terms of the accord.

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