Sanctions against Russia not policy in themselves, they are a tool to resolve Ukrainian conflict - Mogherini
Sanctions is a tool that the European Union applies to resolve the conflict in eastern Ukraine, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini told Interfax in an interview ahead of her visit to Russia, which is the first one since she took the position in 2014.
"Sanctions are not a policy in themselves, they are linked to the illegal annexation of Crimea and to the conflict in eastern Ukraine. We have repeated time and again that when the Minsk agreements are fully implemented, the related sanctions will be removed," Mogherini said.
"Every decision we have taken so far about sanctions was agreed by unanimity. And this unity is reconfirmed regularly, as sanctions are reviewed with decisions on their prolongation usually taken every 6 or 12 months," she said.
"Having said that, we do not aim to extend sanctions 'endlessly': our aim is to see the conflict in eastern Ukraine solved with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. As I said, sanctions in themselves are not a policy, but one of the tools the European Union, together with many other partners in the world, is using to achieve the end of the conflict in the east of Ukraine," Mogherini said.