Europe should pursue a unified policy towards Russia in the context of the Ukrainian crisis, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said during her visit to Finland, where she met with the country’s Prime Minister Alexander Stubb, German media reported.
There should be no individual approach of the EU states with regard to this issue, the German politician said during her speech at the University of Helsinki.
ARD journalists said after the press conference, that, according to Merkel, a quick solution to the conflict is very unlikely.
Another German media source, Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten, wrote that Merkel’s statements about the need for a common approach towards Russia demonstrate her concerns about the division in the European Union.
A number of EU countries expressed their disapproval of the sanctions’ extension. Greece, for instance, demanded that the EU refunds losses, which the country has to bear as result of restrictive measures. Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Dzhentiloni also called for the partial lifting of sanctions, adding that the EU, in his view, is too concentrated on the Ukrainian crisis.
Bulgaria’s Deputy Prime Minister Ivaylo Kalfin called sanctions against Russia a "pathology", while German Bundestag deputy Sahra Wagenknecht said that by imposing sanctions Europe acts against its own interests.