Russia, EU, Ukraine Must Unite to End Violence in Donbass

© Sputnik / John Trast / Go to the mediabankA private house destroyed by shelling inthe village of Chernukhino.
A private house destroyed by shelling inthe village of Chernukhino. - Sputnik International
Emil Brix, Austria’s ambassador to Moscow said that the implementation of the Minsk agreements was moving very slowly, but it was still vital for the removal of anti-Russia sanctions.

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MOSCOW (Sputnik), Daria Chernyshova — Russia, Ukraine and the European Union should unite in order to successfully implement the Minsk peace accords and end hostilities in Ukraine’s southeast, Austria’s ambassador to Moscow told Sputnik.

"The main goal should be to unite the European Union, Ukraine and Russia to end violence in eastern Ukraine, and have a prospect of stable future for the population in these regions," Emil Brix said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meeting with Austrian President Heinz Fischer, Wednesday April 6, 2016. - Sputnik International
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On Wednesday, Austrian leader Heinz Fischer said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin that no side won from the sanctions introduced by the European Union against Russia, and that it was necessary to find a way that would lead to the removal of most of them.

"For us, the way out of sanctions is very clear – it is full implementation of Minsk agreements. We say that all sides must increase the efforts to realize this call and our president underlines that there is a contribution that the Russian Federation can make in this context," Brix said.

He noted that the implementation of the Minsk agreements was moving very slowly, but it was still vital for the removal of anti-Russia sanctions.

"Our president pointed out, and he made this point very consistently, that no one interested in good economic relations between Europe and Russia can be happy about any form of sanctions. But he also made very clear that there are very clear reasons why the sanctions were introduced," the ambassador said.

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Relations between Russia and the European Union member states, including Austria, went downhill in 2014, when Brussels joined Washington in accusing Moscow of fueling the Ukrainian crisis and imposed several rounds of sanctions as a punitive measure.

The Russian authorities have refuted the allegations, warning that the Western sanctions are counterproductive. In response to the Western restrictive measures, in August 2014, Russia announced a one-year food embargo on some products originating in states that imposed sanctions against it. The ban has since been extended for another year.

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