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Merkel Says Sanctions On Russia Should Be Tied To Fulfilling Minsk Deal

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on April 27 that the continuation of international sanctions against Russia should depend on whether it upholds its commitments under a cease-fire deal for eastern Ukraine that was signed in Minsk in February.

Merkel, at a news conference with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz in Warsaw, said that at the European Council meeting in March, the EU "took an unambiguous decision that the sanctions were related to completing the Minsk agreements."

She said "it is clear that completing this package is taking longer" and will be dealt with in June.

Kopacz said that Merkel agreed with her that the sanctions that have already been imposed on Russia should be maintained.

The main topics for discussion between Merkel and Kopacz were the conflict in Ukraine as well as preparations for the upcoming Eastern Partnership summit next month in Latvia's capital, Riga.

The Eastern Partnership brings together the European Union and the ex-Soviet states of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, and Ukraine.

Based on reporting by Reuters and dpa

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