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German diplomat says EU sanctions depend on separation of forces in Donbass
Progress in separating the parties to the conflict in the Donbass region will be taken into consideration while considering the issue of extending the anti-Russian sanctions, German Foreign Ministry spokesman, Martin Schaefer, said on Friday.
"In the coming days and weeks, we will be closely following the situation with honoring commitments in separating the forces. Then our partners in the EU and across the ocean and we will discuss whether there is progress and how we will react when a decision on sanctions is made," he said.
"There are two reasons for the sanctions the EU imposed on Russia. As for the ones imposed over Crimea, there is a belief that that they should be preserved," Schaefer said. He added that the second reason is related to the actions in eastern Ukraine, and "a lively discussion is under way" on this issue.
The German Foreign Ministry believes it is right to distinguish between the Ukrainian and Syrian crises in relations with Russia.
"I've already said that from our point of view it would be useful and right to separate these two themes," he said.
Earlier, Schefer stated that Germany had a clear understanding "there are different conflicts and each requires its own search for a political settlement."
He added that treating the conflicts in Syria and in Ukraine in one package was not in the interests of the German government.
[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, Berlin, 07Oct16]
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