On August 27, while answering questions from citizens on the government's open day, German Foreign Minister Zigmar Gabriel stated that he continues to advocate a gradual lifting of sanctions on Russia as it fulfills the Minsk agreements, Ukrinform reports.
This is not the first time that Gabriel suggested that sanctions against Russia should be lifted gradually, without waiting for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. "If sanctions were gradually introduced, why can they not be lifted gradually if Russia does certain things?" he said.
Gabriel also admitted that he is "very sympathetic" towards the idea of the withdrawal from the agreement that the heads of state and the government of the EU had signed allowing to lift sanctions against the Russian Federation only if the Minsk Agreements are fully implemented
"I think it is unrealistic. It would be more reasonable in case a real armistice is established [that is the first point of the agreements] and the weapons are withdrawn to be prepared to lift the first part of the sanctions. Then, see what else can be done and lift more," the minister said.
At the same time, he stressed that Germany cannot justify military intervention and the appropriation of part of the neighboring state, speaking of the annexation of the Crimea. He said that the leader of the Free Democratic Party of Germany, Christian Lindner made certain statements to that effect because of the upcoming elections. Lindner had asserted that the issue of the Crimea should be postponed to solve more pressing problems.
It was previously reported that Lindner called for putting the issue of the annexation of the Crimea on hold to improve relations with Russia.