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Sanctions against Russia will remain in force – Foreign Minister of Finland

The Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja sees no possibility of lifting sanctions against Russia.

Sanctions against Russia will remain in force - Foreign Minister of Finland

The Minister stated it in an interview with Uutiset portal.

In late October, it will be three months since introduction the expanded package of EU sanctions against Russia due to the situation in the east of Ukraine was imposed. In July, the EU member states have agreed to revise the sanctions in three months, that is in the end of October.

In September, after long consultations the EU expanded the July package of sanctions.

At that time, the Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja was among those who wanted to delay the imposition of new sanctions. Now Tuomioja and other foreign ministers of the EU member states are not ready to lift sanctions.

"So far, no one sees the possibility to cancel. We consider agreements achieved in Minsk as good ones because they are the only measures to solve this crisis. I would like to see the results, but the process is far from complete. But for sure there will come the time when the whole situation will be reviewed," said the minister.

According to him, the real changes will not happen before the parliamentary elections in Ukraine.

It is to be recalled that the EU imposed first sanctions in spring after the annexation of Crimea by Russia. According to Tuomioja, the package of sanctions, of course, will remain in force, since no one believes in an expeditious solution of this issue.

The purpose of the expanded package of sanctions is to make Russia comply the peace plan consisting of 12 items signed in Minsk, which, in particular, involves withdrawal of Russian troops from the territory of Ukraine and ceasing of separatists' support.

However Tuomioja is disappointed by what is happening in Ukraine.

"We are quite disappointed that the transformation of Ukraine is very, very slow, and corruption remains the biggest problem of the country."

The foreign ministers of the EU member states will discuss the situation in Ukraine at a meeting in Luxembourg on Monday, October 27.

It is to be recalled that the Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel said that the European Union does not intend to lift or even mitigate the sanctions against Russia.