20:36 GMT13 June 2021
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    Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said that the European Union should progressively lift its anti-Russian sanctions in response to the country's steps toward fulfilling the Minsk accords on Ukrainian settlement.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The European Union should progressively lift its anti-Russian sanctions in response to the country's steps toward fulfilling the Minsk accords on Ukrainian settlement, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said.

    "I think that we should gradually arrive at a stage where every move toward fulfilling the Minsk accords, every step is met with the progressive removal of sanctions," Kurz said told the Austrian ORF public broadcaster.

    A substantial step in reconciling with Russian should be made, he added, expressing hope that Russia makes a similar move.

    European politicians are currently casting doubt on sanctions as a viable way of conducting relations with Russia, he noted.

    On Saturday, the European Union’s decision to renew its ban on economic activity with Crimea came into force, a day after members of the EU Council agreed to continue restrictive measures against Russia. The move was welcomed by the United States.

    Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies have introduced several rounds of anti-Russia sanctions since the reunification of Crimea with Russia in 2014, accusing Moscow of meddling in the Ukrainian conflict.

    Russia has repeatedly refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive and undermine global stability. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.


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