German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she’s confident that the European Union will extend sanctions against Russia in June as negotiators struggle to hold together a peace deal for Ukraine.
Sanctions are tied to Russia’s adherence to the accord negotiated in February in the Belarus capital of Minsk and compliance doesn’t look imminent, Merkel said in Warsaw on Monday.
“It’s completely clear that fulfilling the terms of this package will take longer than August or September,” Merkel said after meeting with Polish Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. “We will take up this question in June and I think that, on the basis of the joint political decision in March, we will decide to extend the sanctions.”
As multiple violations of the cease-fire negotiated in Minsk hold back the peace process, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko urged the EU on Monday to play a bigger role in ending the conflict. The 28-member EU, whose government leaders next meet in June, must vote unanimously to extend sanctions.
“We’ve agreed that there is no basis to ease sanctions toward Russia,” Kopacz told reporters in the Polish capital. “Ukraine needs our constant support.”