European Union foreign ministers said on Monday there were no grounds to lift economic sanctions against Russia despite conciliatory proposals from the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.
Federica Mogherini, Linas Linkevičius
© AFP/Scanpix

Mogherini had suggested in a confidential memo seen by "Reuters" that EU governments could start talking to Russia again about global diplomacy, trade and other issues if Moscow implemented the Minsk peace agreement to end the separatist conflict.

The EU's relations with Russia could only change if and when the Minsk ceasefire accords for Ukraine were implemented "and (...) the latest developments on the ground are definitely not encouraging, rather the contrary", she said.

"In light of the current events in eastern Ukraine, no one had the idea of loosening the sanctions," German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told reporters after talks among EU ministers.

"I do not think that we now should think how to re-engage. Russia should think how to re-engage," Lithuanian Foreign Minister Linas Linkevičius told reporters.

According to Linkevičius, with regard to Russia, the EU has to take into consideration the actual situation and not illusions. The prospects of EU-Russia relations cannot be disassociated from the situation in Ukraine. Linkevičius said that first of all Russia must make concrete steps in resolving the conflict in Ukraine and only then the normalization of relations may be considered.

Linkevičius does not think that it is possible to mitigate sanctions imposed against Russia. "The unity of the EU should persuade Russia to change its policy. EU sanctions against Russia do have an effect. We must remain consistent and patient," said the minister and noted that European heads of state will continue discussions on the Russia-Ukraine issue in March.

It is forbidden to copy the text of this publication without a written permission from ELTA.
Leave a comment
or for anonymous commenting click here
By posting, you agree to terms
Read comments Read comments

Lithuanian agrimin to discuss post-Brexit agriculture funding issues in Austria

Lithuanian Agriculture Minister Giedrius Surplys will on Monday attend an informal meeting of EU...

Lithuanian president calls for avoiding chaotic Brexit

Attending an informal meeting of EU leaders on Thursday, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė...

Lithuania proposes to create single set of external border standards in EU

President Dalia Grybauskaitė presented Lithuania's initiative to introduce a single set of external...

Europe needs lasting solutions to counter illegal migration - president Grybauskaitė

The European Union remains the center of attraction for economic refugees seeking a better life...

Lithuanian president, EU leaders to discuss Brexit, migration in Salzburg

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaitė is leaving for the Austrian city of Salzburg where she will...