"All parties must make some effort (to implement the articles of agreements). Sanctions can and should be lifted only after Russia will fulfill its commitments under the Minsk agreements," Obama said.
Merkel herself avoided direct statements about sanctions against Russia, but said that Germany and the United States "attach great importance" to the agreements reached on the resolution of the military conflict in Ukraine were performed "as soon as possible".
This is only possible by means of negotiations with Ukraine and with Russia. Until, in her words, "unfortunately", in the East of Ukraine no "stable truce," reports Deutsche Welle.
Earlier, U.S. Secretary of state John Kerry said that the U.S. was willing to lift sanctions against Russia with the full implementation of the Minsk agreements.
In turn, Russian foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said that Moscow and Washington are United in the view that the Minsk agreements, there is no alternative in the context of the Ukrainian settlement.
Lavrov hopes that the Ukrainian crisis, Russia and the U.S. will continue to exert due pressure on the parties to the conflict to perform Minsk agreements: in particular, the United States will influence Kiev.
The Minister of foreign Affairs and international cooperation of Italy Paolo Gentiloni calls for lifting of sanctions with Russia. Vice-Chancellor of Germany Sigmar Gabriel also expressed the hope that sanctions can be removed, at least partially.
The foreign Ministers of member countries "the big seven" have confirmed that the lifting of sanctions linked to the implementation of the Minsk agreements.
Russia is under economic sanctions of some countries, including member States of the European Union, USA, Japan, Australia and Canada. The restrictions referred to banking, oil and defense sectors. International sanctions were imposed because of the annexation of Crimea to Russia and the conflict in Eastern Ukraine.
The current term of the sanctions expires in the end of July 2016. It is expected that their action will be prolonged.