Updated on 09:28 p.m. Moscow Time
MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti) – US President Barack Obama told reporters on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales Friday that sanctions against Russia may be lifted if a long-term sustainable ceasefire is reached in Ukraine.
“It is my view that if you look at President [of Ukraine Petro] Poroshenko’s plan, it will take some time to implement. As a consequence, for us to move forward based on what is currently happening on the ground with sanctions, while acknowledging that, if in the fact the elements of the plan that’s been signed are implemented, then the sanctions could be lifted is a more likely way for us to ensure there is follow-through,” Obama said.
On Friday, members of the Contact Group on Ukrainian reconciliation had a meeting in the Belarusian capital of Minsk, during which they agreed on a ceasefire, exchange of prisoners and humanitarian aid. The ceasefire agreement came into force at 6 p.m. local time (15:00 GMT).
Poroshenko said that the ceasefire deal was based on his peace plan.
On Thursday, a White House spokesperson said that the United States is preparing a new set of sanctions against Russia, and the EU was expected to do the same.
Western countries have introduced several rounds of penalties against Russia, accusing it of expanding forces on the border with eastern Ukraine and supplying independence supporters with weapons, thus escalating the crisis, a claim Moscow has denied.