01:54 GMT +321 August 2019
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    German Chancellor Angela Merkel  in front of Germany's heraldic eagle

    Merkel Asks German Businesses to be Patient With Anti-Russian Sanctions

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    The German chancellor acknowledged the significant impact of anti-Russian sanctions on the German economy at her party's economic conference in Stralsund on Friday.

    German Chancellor Angela Merkel asked for business representatives reeling from the costly effects of anti-Russian sanctions to remain patient at the Christian Democratic Union's (CDU) economic conference, the German news agency DPA reported.

    "The sanctions have hit some sectors of the economy hard," Merkel said in her annual address to the conference in Stralsund, northeast Germany, on Friday.

    She told those present that the anti-Russian sanctions, which resulted in a 25 percent (7.5 billion euros, $8.2 billion) drop in German exports to Russia last year, will be lifted in accordance with the Minsk Agreements that the representatives of France, Germany, Ukraine and Russia agreed upon in February 2015.

    There is no evidence that Russia has not fulfilled the conditions of the agreement, and earlier this month Russia's Permanent Representative to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, Alexander Lukashevich, told the OSCE's Permanent Council meeting about Moscow' concern that Kiev is not carrying out its obligations under the agreement. 

    Breaches of the agreement include the bombardment of residential homes by the Ukrainian military, the shelling of a trip by the Principal Deputy Chief Monitor of the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine, and Kiev's failure to pass legislation that would provide a special status to the eastern regions of Donetsk and Lugansk.

    "One of the key problems is that our colleagues pretend that Kiev is faithfully complying with the Package of Measures. In fact, it's the other way round," Lukashevich said.

    "The Minsk Package of Measures is the foundation of the peace process via a direct dialogue between the parties to the Ukraine conflict. It provides a framework for a sustainable solution to the crisis, and defines the principles of conserving the Donetsk and Lugansk regions as part of Ukraine with constitutional and legislative guarantees ensuring the rights of the people of Donbass."

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