June 2, 2016 / 5:07 PM / in 2 years

Merkel adviser says 'far too early' to discuss easing of Russia sanctions

BERLIN (Reuters) - It is far too early to discuss a lifting of sanctions against Russia for its intervention in Ukraine, a top adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Thursday.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel attends a news conference following talks with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the Chancellery in Berlin, Germany, June 2, 2016. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

“I think the discussion about lifting of sanctions has come far too early,” foreign policy adviser Christoph Heusgen said at a German Marshall Fund event in Berlin. “We are not anywhere close to having Minsk implemented.”

Based on the current situation in eastern Ukraine, Heusgen added, it was hard to envision a situation where sanctions were not extended for another half year when they expire in July.

Reporting by Noah Barkin; Editing by Michelle Martin

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