20:16 GMT15 June 2021
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    The Western policy towards Russia is not always reasonable. Western countries have always talked about the intensification and extension of sanctions, and rarely discussed their possible easing, once some progress in Ukraine is achieved, former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder said.

    Former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder urged the West to take into account "certain fears in Russia, to which the Russian president has to respond" and suggested that the sanctions policy of Western countries could be more reasonable.

    "In the Ukrainian issue, one has always talked only about the intensification and extension of sanctions against Moscow. Why do Western politicians not ask: Can we not relax or lift sanctions — if the progress in Ukraine is achieved?" Schroeder said in an interview to Bild.

    Schroeder also mentioned that Russian President Vladimir Putin remains his friend, adding that it is important to keep communication with Russia.

    According to him, the recent visit of US Secretary of State John Kerry is a sign of positive development.

    "I hope that this position would remain directory for the US policy," the ex-Chancellor said.

    Schroeder also believes that the Minsk agreement gives a great opportunity to settle the Ukrainian conflict in a peaceful manner. However, far-reaching reforms in Ukraine, including the federalization of the country, are required to make this process successful, he claimed.

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