Zerkal: Unlikely it will be possible to continue sanctions against Russia

It is unlikely that Ukraine will be able to maintain sanctions against Russia, Deputy Foreign Minister of Ukraine Olena Zerkal has said.

"You should not count on the fact that everything will be easy. In my opinion, it is unlikely that we will be able to keep the sanctions and isolation of Russia," Zerkal said in an exclusive interview with the Kyiv-based Interfax-Ukraine news agency.

She said the sanctions managed to stop the offensive in eastern Ukraine.

"At least there were no events like Debaltseve and Ilovaisk during these five years. And this was really the achievement of these five years - there was no terrible bloodshed and loss of so many human lives ... Isolation of Russia during these years worked to prevent the situation from worsening," she said.

Zerkal said sanctions did not bring everything that was expected of them.

"Indeed, they were not entirely successful, but to say that they are completely ineffective is impossible ... Of course, we would like there to be more pressure, and not just a halt to the hot phase, but something to stop the fighting," she added.