Sanctions not hampering dialogue with Russia – Merkel

Sanctions against Russia because of its actions with regard to Ukraine were necessary to resolve the conflict, but they do not preclude dialogue with Moscow.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said this in Berlin on Thursday, delivering a speech in the Bundestag on the occasion of her participation in the ASEM summit, a Ukrinform correspondent in Germany reported.
“Sanctions, however necessary, do not preclude dialogue,” Merkel said.
She also said that as part of an Asia-Europe summit in Milan she would hold talks with Ukrainian and Russian Presidents Petro Poroshenko and Vladimir Putin, during which we she would speak about the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
She said that the situation in eastern Ukraine remained “very difficult” despite the ceasefire.
“It is up to Russia to make the decisive contribution to de-escalation; together with Ukraine, it must fully implement the ceasefire,” Merkel said.
She said that Russia should withdraw its weapons from Ukraine, effective control over the Ukrainian-Russian border under the leadership of the OSCE should be established, and municipal elections should be held in eastern Ukraine in accordance with the laws of the country.
She said that the crisis in Ukraine would have burdensome consequences not only for the country itself, but also far beyond its borders, so the international community should respond to this together and decisively.
“Violations of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, or any breach of international law, will not go unpunished,” she said.

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