US State Department says 'it’s too early' to lift anti-Russia sanctions
The US State Department said on Wednesday that it's too early to lift anti-Russia sanctions, stressing that Washington is expecting Brussels to support measures that had been agreed on by the sides, Sputnik reported.
The United States is looking for solidarity with Europe regarding sanctions on Russia and thinks it is too early to lift the measures, US Department of State senior official said in a briefing.
"We are looking for — President [Donald Trump] himself has said that it’s too early to talk about lifting sanctions, so we are looking for solidarity with Europe on these series of measures that we’ve agreed," the official told reporters on Wednesday.
At the same time, the official said that US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold an official bilateral meeting in Bonn, Germany on Thursday, during which they will discuss possible areas for collaboration.
"There’s obviously a whole world of — a whole global agenda for them to discuss and I wouldn't want to preview that ahead of time. I think it’s pretty clear that we’re going to look for areas for cooperation, but also honoring commitments," the official said on Wednesday.
Since 2014, relations between Russia and the European Union and the United States, deteriorated amid the crisis in Ukraine. Brussels, Washington and their allies introduced several rounds of sanctions against Russia on the pretext of its alleged involvement in the Ukrainian conflict, which Moscow has repeatedly denied. In response to the restrictive measures, Russia has imposed a food embargo on some products originating in countries that have targeted it with sanctions.
Since then, NATO has been building up its military presence in Europe, particularly in eastern European countries bordering Russia, using Moscow's alleged interference in Ukraine as a pretext.