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There are no reasons to soften the existing sanctions against Russia and the West must continue pressure on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius said on Monday ahead of a meeting of EU foreign ministers in Luxembourg.
Lithuanian foreign minister calls for tougher, not softer sanctions on Russia
© AFP/Scanpix

The minister believes the last week's meetings of the Russian, Ukrainian and EU leaders in Milan did not bring any breakthrough in resolving the crisis, and Russia is not fulfilling its promise to withdraw troops.

"There is no breakthrough, no changes, no improvement, therefore there's no reason to change any policy, not a question about lifting any sanctions, definitely," the Lithuanian minister told journalists. "I believe that if the situation continues to deteriorate like that, we'll really have to discuss further pressure, also further sanctions not excluded."

The West imposed sanctions against Russia after its annexation of the Ukrainian region of Crimea and Russia's support to separatists in eastern Ukraine. The EU and US are accusing Moscow of sending troops to Ukraine and also supporting pro-Russian separatists, which Russia denies.

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