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    The EU is considering the possibility of scaling down its sanctions against Russia and resuming previously-suspended discussions with the country on a broad range of issues

    EU Considers Easing Anti-Russia Sanctions, Improving Relations

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    The European Union may rethink its sanctions against Russia if the latter abides by ceasefire agreements and abides by the terms of its gas supply deal.

    MOSCOW, January 14 (Sputnik) — The EU is considering the possibility of scaling down its sanctions against Russia and resuming previously-suspended discussions with the country on a broad range of issues, depending on how the situation in Ukraine develops, according to a European Union discussion paper cited by the Wall Street Journal.

    The paper was drafted ahead of the upcoming meeting of the EU member-states’ foreign ministers in Brussels, and hasn’t been disseminated yet.

    According to the paper, the change in the EU's stance would depend on Moscow’s implementation of the peace and ceasefire agreements that have already been signed with Ukraine; Russia would also be required to abide by the terms of the gas-supply deal, and not throw "fresh wrenches in the way of the EU-Ukraine trade and political pact," the Wall Street Journal notes.

    In the event of a positive development, the paper suggests a potential increase in cooperation with Russia in the spheres of foreign policy and trade.

    The newspaper points out that it is the first serious attempt by the EU officials to scale back tensions related to the Ukrainian crisis and to provide some incentive for Russia to ensure its cooperation. The paper doesn’t address the possibility that sanctions may be tightened if the situation in eastern Ukraine deteriorates.

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