Ukraine Boycott

Merkel, Hollande Call for Extending Financial Sanctions Against Russia

  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The economic sanctions imposed by the European Union against Russia as a result of the annexation of Crimea are due to expire in January 2017. Not every E.U. country is in favor of these sanctions, but Brussels needs Berlin and Paris to speak a common language on this particular issue.

  • Facts

    Facts

    • The E.U. has imposed economic sanctions against Russia as retaliatory measures against its involvement in the Ukraine crises since the summer of 2014 and has extended them on several occasions since.
    • The current round of sanctions is due to expire in January 2017 and E.U. leaders will discuss whether to extend them at a European Council summit on Thursday in Brussels.
    • Both Germany and France will hold elections next year. While Angela Merkel will stand for a fourth term in fall, Mr. Hollande will not run for a second term next spring.
  • Audio

    Audio

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French President Hollande and German Chancellor Merkel make a statement to the media at the Chancellery in Berlin
Angela Merkel called the situation in Aleppo “disastrous” and “heartbreaking.” Source: Reuters

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande on Tuesday called for extending E.U. financial sanctions against Russia because of its ongoing aggression in Ukraine.

The leaders of Europe’s two largest economies spoke at a press conference in Berlin ahead of Thursday’s European Council summit in Brussels.

Since implementing the so-called Minsk ceasefire agreement in the Ukraine, the smoldering border conflict is making little progress, the two said. “It will be necessary to extend the sanctions against Russia once again,” Ms. Merkel told journalists at the Chancellery.

“As long as there is no effort, no progress, there are always the same obstacles, I am in favor of extending the sanctions, just like the chancellor,” said Mr. Hollande, standing next to Ms. Merkel.

The French president said the European Union “must continue to enforce the Minsk agreement.” He emphatically called for sanctions, which are supposed to expire at the end of this year, to be extended until the ceasefire deal is observed, “even though this formula shouldn’t become permanent.”

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