March 19, 2015 / 8:52 AM / 4 years ago

EU won't lift sanctions on Russia until Minsk conditions met: Merkel

A pro-Russian rebel aims his weapon as people pass by, during what the rebels said was an anti-terrorist drill in Donetsk, March 18, 2015. REUTERS/Marko Djurica

BERLIN (Reuters) - Europe will not lift sanctions on Russia imposed over the Ukraine crisis until the conditions of the Minsk ceasefire deal have been met, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday before EU leaders discuss the issue at a summit in Brussels.

“We cannot and will not lift the sanctions that expire in July or September until the demands of the Minsk agreement have been fulfilled. That would be wrong,” she told the Bundestag lower house of parliament.

She also said that the goal of the EU’s eastern partnership is to improve the standard of living for people there, it is not about EU or NATO membership for those countries.

Reporting by Stephen Brown, Michelle Martin and Madeline Chambers

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