June 09, 2015 (LBO) – G7 leaders have agreed to keep existing sanctions against Russia and to impose more if necessary as long as the Minsk cease-fire agreement is being violated, US President Barack Obama said.
“As we see again in recent days, Russian forces continued operations in eastern Ukraine violating Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,”
“The G7 is making it clear that if necessary we stand ready to impose additional significant sanctions against Russia.” Obama said.
This was the second year in a row that the G7 has met without Russia.
After imposing sanctions against Russia, the country’s banks and firms were virtually locked out of international markets.
Its energy companies are still struggling to import the services and technologies they need for complex energy projects.
Russian central bank has also lost more than 150 billion US dollars in reserves after the value of the ruble and country’s foreign investments were also dragged down under the prevailing high inflationary environment.
“Russia is in deep recession. So Russia’s actions in Ukraine are hurting Russia and hurting the Russian people,” Obama said.
“Here at the G7, we agreed that even as we will continue to seek a diplomatic solution, sanctions against Russia will remain in place as long as Russia continues to violate its obligations under the Minsk agreements.”
Representatives of Ukraine, the Russian Federation, the Donetsk People’s Republic (DPR), and the Lugansk People’s Republic (LPR) signed the Minsk Protocol, an agreement to halt the war in the Donbass region of Ukraine, on 5 September 2014.
By January 2015, the Minsk Protocol ceasefire had completely collapsed.
“Our European partners reaffirmed that they will maintain sanctions on Russia until the Minsk agreements are fully implemented, which means extending the EU’s existing sectoral sanctions beyond July,” Obama further stressed.