The Western sanctions imposed on Russia over its military offensive in Ukraine will not be lifted unless Moscow withdraws its troops from the neighboring country, German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock has said.
In an interview with Bild on Sunday, Baerbock explained that “a ceasefire can only be a first step” when it comes to removing the sanctions.
“It is clear to us that the sanctions can only be lifted if Russia withdraws its troops,” she said, adding that “peace on terms dictated by Russia” will not bring security to Ukraine or Europe. “At worst, it would be an invitation to the next war – even closer to our borders.”
Baerbock said the Russian attack on Ukraine has “irretrievably shattered” the peace in Europe, and that “there is no going back” to the times before February 24, when Russian President Vladimir Putin announced the “special military operation,” despite earlier assurances from his government that no attack against Ukraine was being planned.