Merkel’s successor gets off to a tough start

The new chairman of Germany’s ruling Christian Democratic Union (CDU) coalition, Armin Lachet, who is Angela Merkel’s potential successor as chancellor, says there is no reason to lift anti-Russian sanctions and more progress is needed on implementing the Minsk agreements.

Lachet argues that “there are still covert and overt acts of aggression from a Russian-dominated side in eastern Ukraine”. In his view, most of the sanctions have been for the “illegal annexation of Crimea”.

“The other part concerns the implementation of the Minsk agreements and the conflict in eastern Ukraine,” he said in an interview with the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung newspaper published Friday evening. – “As for the Minsk agreements, I would like to see more progress. In this regard there is no reason to lift the sanctions now.”

Lachet argued that not recognising Crimea as Russian territory “remains the position of Germany and the West”.

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