Germany does not intend to soften sanctions against Russia even though German businesses would like to see the relations with Russia improve, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said in Berlin on Thursday.
Although the German business circles often call for softening the sanctions, “this is about principles”, Merkel said.
“There are a number of states around Russia that were not able to develop as they would like to. We cannot shut our eyes to this. We can explain something with sanctions,” she said.
“We don’t impose sanctions on Russia just for the sake of the sanctions, rather we impose sanctions to make clear that countries, even if they are geographically close to Russia, have the right to their own development,” the chancellor said.
She condemned the actions of the Russian Federation during the incident in the Kerch Strait, where three Ukrainian ships were attacked and detained on Sunday. The crew members of the ships were arrested by the decision of the Russian court.
“We need to make sure that these sailors are released,” Merkel said. She added that she intends to discuss the situation with Vladimir Putin and Donald Trump at the G-20 summit at the end of the week.
EU high-ranking politicians called for tougher sanctions against Russia due to the tensions in relations between Moscow and Kyiv.