Western sanctions to remain in place against Russia until Ukraine ceasefire

imgUS President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said today that Western sanctions must remain in place against Russia until it complies with a ceasefire deal with Ukraine.
“The two leaders discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and agreed that the duration of sanctions should be clearly linked to Russia’s full implementation of the Minsk agreements and respect
for Ukraine’s sovereignty,” the White House said in a statement released on the sidelines of the G7 summit in Germany.
Obama and Merkel held private talks ahead of the summit and the US president earlier urged his fellow G7 leaders to stand up together against “Russian aggression in Ukraine”.
Peace talks on Ukraine resumed in Minsk on May 6 as clashes have intensified on the ground in a conflict that has killed more than 6,400 people since April 2014.
The negotiations are aimed at enforcing the implementation of a peace deal reached in Minsk in February, leading to an extremely fragile ceasefire that is regularly breached across the eastern conflict zone.
The Minsk deal, agreed under pressure from the leaders of Germany and France, states that all conditions — including a complete ceasefire, the pullback of all heavy weapons and the restoration of Ukraine’s border with Russia to Ukrainian control — should be fulfilled by the end of 2015.

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