"Now it is clear that sanctions are going to continue. These are linked to the Minsk agreement and there has been no progress on that. This is because of all the parties, not only Russian. But we have already agreed this discussion [on sanctions lift] in October. It is really needed," Sipila said.
Relations between the European Union and Russia soured after Brussels imposed several rounds of economic sanctions against Moscow after Crimea reunified with Russia and for Russia's alleged role in the conflict in southeastern Ukraine.
Russia has refuted any allegations of involvement in the conflict and advocated for settling the conflict between the Kiev forces and southeastern Ukrainian pro-independence militia peacefully.