Friday, May 27 2016 19:39 EEST
Putin’s hopes were dashed - Leading countries won’t lift anti-Russian sanctions
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Russian leadership hasn’t earned the lifting of current restrictive measures, Angela Merkel says.

On May 26, the leaders of seven leading industrial countries supported the prolongation of current anti-Russian sanctions at the summit of the Big Seven in Japan.

'I think it’s too early to ring off,' German Chancellor Angela Merkel said. 'We still shouldn’t expect any changes in the position we have been following during the last few months.'

According to her, the lifting of the restrictive measures, which were introduced by the EU against Russia, will depend on progress in the settlement of the armed conflict in the Donbass.

'The east of Ukraine now facing large-scale fighting and at the same time, there still is no stable ceasefire,' Merkel said. 'We should make every effort to achieve essential progress in the stabilization of the political process in the coming weeks.'

German Chancellor said that the final communiqué of the Big Seven’s summit is to confirm the last year German summit’s position. The leaders then condemned Crimean annexation and support for separatists in the Donbass and threatened Russian leadership with the increase of the sanctions.

In 1997-2014, Russia actively participated in the group of leading industrial nations on equal rights. However, the Big Seven introduced anti-Russian sanctions and expelled from the Group of Eight (Big Eight) in the spring of 2014 after the annexation of Crimea.

Russia mostly laughed at the introduction of these restrictive measures. The lifting of the sanctions has led to creation of various slogans, demotivators and cartoons on the Internet. Russian leadership introduced retaliatory sanctions against a number of countries. However, the leaders are watching the problems in different industries and thinking of lifting the sanctions now.

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