Spain Sees No Need for EU to Expand Russia Sanctions

World » EU | March 10, 2015, Tuesday // 19:36
Bulgaria: Spain Sees No Need for EU to Expand Russia Sanctions Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (R) and his Spanish counterpart Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo after talks in Moscow, Russia, 10 March 2015. EPA/BGNRS

There is no ground for the EU to expand its sanctions against Russia over Ukraine as the latest Minsk truce holds, Spanish Foreign Minister Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said on Tuesday.

EU sanctions against Russia imposed over Moscow’s involvement in the conflict in Ukraine have hit the Spanish economy hard, particularly the agriculture sector, the Spanish foreign minister said after talks with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov in Moscow.

Moscow has repeatedly dismissed Western accusations of providing military assistance to  pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

With Minsk ceasefire agreement being observed and heavy weapons withdrawn from the front line in eastern Ukraine, “I see no reasons for expanding sanctions, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo said.

He went on to say that lifting sanctions depends on whether the EU-brokered peace deal between the government in Kiev and pro-Russian rebels is implemented in full.

Sergey Lavrov accused the Ukrainian authorities of dragging their feet on the fulfilment of a series of political reforms accompanying the ceasefire deal, particularly reaching an agreement to hold local elections in self-proclaimed Donetsk and Luhansk People’s Republics.

Commenting on the EU sanctions against Russia, Lavrov said Moscow wasn’t going to ask the EU to lift the restrictions.

“We are not going to persuade or ask our European friends about anything. Life will arrange everything back to order," Lavrov said, as quoted by ITAR-TASS.


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Tags: Russia, Spain, Lavrov, Manuel Garcia-Margallo, sanctions, Ukraine, Minsk, ceasefire, truce
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