Speaking on the ORF on Sunday, foreign minister Sebastian Kurz said sanctions could be lifted in return for Russia implementing parts of the 12-point plan Minsk Protocol II agreed by both sides earlier this year.


“I believe that we should gradually come to a modus in which for every implementation of the Minsk Protocol, for every single step, sanctions will gradually be lifted in return,” he said, suggesting it was time the EU found common ground with Russia.


The peace plan for the disputed region in eastern Ukraine has faltered this year, however, and the EU looks set next week to extend the economic sanctions it placed on Russia for another six months.