It is too early to lift the existing sanctions on Russia, Lithuanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Linas Linkevičius says.
© AFP/Scanpix

In his words, more time is needed to see what happens with the ceasefire in Ukraine before offering concessions to the Kremlin. Brussels had pledged to review the sanctions in late September.

"My sense is we will find consensus on that because as far as I understand, all colleagues would like to see some changes on the ground, not just statements," Linkevičius, said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday.

On Wednesday, US President Barack Obama told the United Nations the recent ceasefire agreement in Ukraine offers an opening to diplomacy and peace.

"If Russia takes that path — a path that for stretches of the post-Cold War period resulted in prosperity for the Russian people — then we will lift our sanctions and welcome Russia’s role in addressing common challenges," he said.

Meanwhile Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk on Wednesday urged international partners not to lift sanctions on Russia for as long as Ukraine does not regain control of the east of the country and Crimea.

"We ask our partners not to lift sanctions until Ukraine takes control of its entire territory," Yatsenyuk said.

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