WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Ackermann noted that the United States can "breathe" because the outlook for Europe rolling over the anti-Russian sanctions "looks good."
"We do this [rollover anti-Russian sanctions] every six months and it creates some nervousness in the United States," Ackermann stated at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. "Don’t be too nervous, because you should not forget that Minsk is our process… the United States is not sitting at the table."
Both the United States and European Union have agreed that the successful implementation of the Ukrainian peace agreements — the Minsk accords — is the precondition for lifting sanctions against Russia.
On Tuesday, 28 ambassadors from the European Union agreed unanimously to extend anti-Russian sanctions through January 2017. The final decision on extending sanctions will be reached at the end of June.
Since 2014, the United States and European Union have coordinated sanctions targeting Russian individuals and key sectors of its economy. The sanctions were initially imposed in response to Crimea’s reunification with Russia and Western allegations of Russian involvement in the Ukraine crisis. Moscow has repeatedly refuted allegations of its involvement in Ukraine. In response to Western sanctions, Russia has sanctioned US individuals and also imposed a food embargo on some European countries.