© AFP 2018 / Vladimir Car for Europe, integration and foreign Affairs of Austria Karin Kneissl. Archival photo© 2018 AFP / Vladimir Simicek
Austria as the Chairman of the Council of the EU raises the question of the abolition of anti-Russian sanctions, because it does not observe significant progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukraine, said on Thursday the foreign Minister of Austria Karin Kneissl.
Austria, which holds the presidency of the EU Council from 1 July until 31 December, the program for this period has identified the strengthening of the dialogue between Brussels and Moscow, the subject of sanctions as a separate item did not appear.
Kneisl noted that Austria, the EU works to improve the dialogue between Brussels and Moscow, at the bilateral level, work continues on the forum «Sochi dialogue», and the sanctions against Austria in favour of flexibility, subject to appropriate progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
«Sanctions were imposed in July 2014 and since then renewed every six months. Unfortunately, today we do not see significant progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements, within the framework of the EU to work on lifting the sanctions,» — said Kneisl, speaking at a meeting of the National Council of Austria.
She noted that Austrian companies were seriously affected by the sanctions regime. According to her, exports fell by a third due to anti-Russian sanctions and retaliatory measures of Moscow.
Relations between Russia and the West deteriorated in connection with the situation in Ukraine and around the Crimea. The West is accusing Russia of meddling, have imposed sanctions, Moscow responded, took a course on import substitution and has repeatedly said that talking with her in language of sanctions counterproductive. Russia has repeatedly stated that it is not a party to the conflict in Ukraine and the subject of the Minsk agreements on the settlement. Lately in the EU clearly there are opinions on necessity of cancellation of sanctions against Russia.
© Infografiken sanctions against Russia and retaliatory measures