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Wednesday 15.08.2018 | Name days: Dzelde, Zenta, Zelda
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Rinkevics: EU may review sanctions against Russia if things settle down in Ukraine

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Baltic news, News from Latvia, BNN.LV, BNN-NEWS.COM, BNN-NEWS.RU«Development of the situation in Ukraine will serve as litmus test for the future of relations between the EU and Russia. If the situation in Ukraine continues deteriorating, discussions in regard to further restrictions against Russia will continue,» – said Latvian Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics during a panel discussion of Alpbach forum in Austria.

«If the situation stabilizes, the EU is prepared to review established sanctions against the Russian Federation. Realization of Minsk agreements plays a vital role in this,» – said the minister.

Rinkevics added that Russia, with its illegal annexation of the Crimean Peninsula, has breached fundamental principles of international law. This has ruined any trust in Russia’s actions on the international stage. This is why EU-Russian relations cannot simply return to normal.

On the matter of Latvia’s refusal to recognize the legitimacy of annexation of Crimea, Rinkevics emphasized long-term influence of sanctions. «The policy of non-recognition of occupation of Baltic States was in place for 50 years, and we managed to regain our independence. We have a similar approach to the matter of occupation of Crimea,» – said the Foreign Minister.

He praised NATO’s role in guaranteeing stability in Europe: «Additional security measures agreed upon during the NATO summit in Wales are an adequate response to changes in security on the European continent.»

At the same time, Rinkevics emphasized the need to holds a dialogue between the EU and Russia: «Talks in regard to stabilizing the Ukrainian conflict are necessary. The role of EU High Representative Federica Mogherini in this process is especially positive. Latvia stands in favour of increasing EU’s role in stabilizing the conflict in Ukraine.» The minister proposed providing assistance to Ukraine, especially in the realization of Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) agreement.

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