02:48 GMT +319 August 2018
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    Minister President of the state of Mecklenburg-West Pomerania, Manuela Schwesig, addresses the media before a meeting of leaders of East German federal states in Bad Schmiedeberg, Germany, April 18, 2018

    German Mecklenburg-Vorpommern's Head Calls For Lifting Anti-Russian Sanctions

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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) - Russia and Germany should lift mutual sanctions, because the restrictions have not achieved their intended result and affected the economy instead, Minister-President of Germany's northern state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern Manuela Schwesig said Monday.

    "I believe that it is in the mutual interest of Germany and Russia to start lifting mutual sanctions," Schwesig said in an interview with Die Welt newspaper, noting that both sides should take steps toward each other.

    The minister-president stated that the sanctions had not achieved their intended goals and instead caused a negative economic effect.

    "After four years of mutual economic sanctions, we conclude that they have not met their goal," she said, noting the negative impact that the restrictions had on agriculture.

    The politician stressed that there was an all-party consensus in eastern Germany on the issue of sanctions.

    READ MORE: Germany 'Should Take First Step to Russia' by Easing Sanctions — Bundestag VP

    "For example, we have a very similar view with my counterpart Reiner Haseloff from Saxony-Anhalt. He would also like the mutual sanctions to be canceled," she said.

    Schwesig noted that she also maintained contact with German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas on the issue.

    "We maintain a good dialogue with Heiko Maas with regard to the policy toward Russia," she said, adding that there were certain "nuances" concerning the degree of criticism toward Moscow and that majority of Germans were interested in a dialogue with Russia.

    In April, the German Association for Small and Medium-sized Businesses spoke in favor of lifting sanctions against Russia, stressing that the restrictions hampered the economic development of both Germany and Russia.

    The Western sanctions against Russia were introduced in 2014 over the crisis in Ukraine and Crimea's reunification with Russia following a referendum, what led to the deterioration of diplomatic relations. Russia has repeatedly refuted allegations of interference in Ukraine's affairs, warning that the Western sanctions were counterproductive and undermined global stability.

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    anti-Russian sanctions, Heiko Maas, Germany, Russia
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