SOURCE: THE BRICS POST
On Sunday, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said he wants the EU to gradually phase out sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukraine crisis.
“Sanctions are not an end in themselves. They should rather give incentives for a change in behaviour,” he told the RedaktionsNetzwerk Deutschland, a network of local newspapers.
“An all or nothing approach, even if it sounds good, doesn’t work,” he said.
“We must still be able to have a joint reflection if we want to find solutions for other big conflicts,” he said referring to Russia’s role in attempting to solve the Syrian crisis.
Earlier last week, Steinmeier criticised NATO’s “warmongering”, warning that such moves could worsen tensions with Russia.
“We are well-advised to not create pretexts to renew an old confrontation,” the German Foreign Minister said.
“What we shouldn’t do now is inflame the situation further through sabre-rattling and warmongering,” he added.
NATO’s military exercises launched this month in eastern Europe were counterproductive to regional security and could inflame tensions with Russia, he argued. He has urged NATO to focus instead on dialogue with Russia.
On Friday, the European Union extended for a year a ban on business dealings with Russia’s Crimea region.