Merkel, Hollande calls for extension of EU sanctions against Russia

Berlin, Dec 13 (IANS) The German Chancellor and French President criticised Russia on Tuesday over its role in Syria and the situation in Ukraine, advocating the extension of sanctions against Moscow while there is no progress in implementing the Minsk peace agreements.

Speaking at a press conference along with President Francois Hollande, Chancellor Angela Merkel said the situation in Syria was heartbreaking and stressed it was the government regime that was responsible, along with Russia and Iran, reports Efe.

Hollande said he did not see much difference between the roles of the Syrian regime and Russia, emphasising the need to “act now”.

The two leaders also touched on the Ukrainian conflict and came out in favour of maintaining sanctions against Russia over it if there is no progress in the implementation of the Minsk agreements.

Hollande and Merkel met in Berlin on the occasion of the first bilateral congress to promote digitisation.

The European leaders also used the meeting to prepare for the next European Council to identify common topics ahead of upcoming European Union summits.

Merkel and Hollande agreed that Syria and Ukraine are the topics which will be addressed with the other EU leaders, as would the migration crisis and the need to promote agreements with African countries.

–IANS

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