Garmisch-Partenkirchen (Germany), June 8 (IANS) US President Barack Obama on Monday said he will convince European leaders to maintain economic sanctions on Russia, even as US officials concede the measures have done little to curb aggression by separatists in Eastern Ukraine.
The extension of sanctions was a chief goal of the US President at this week’s G7 meeting in the Bavarian Alps, where leaders huddled in a castle high above Munich to discuss Russia, Islamic State and other pressing global issues, CNN reported.
Obama said at a press conference at the conclusion of the summit that “Russia’s actions in Ukraine are hurting Russia and hurting the Russian people”.
The sanctions regime steadily imposed by Western nations would continue until a ceasefire that Russia agreed to March goes into full effect, Obama said.
That accord, which leaders hammered out in Belarus, has been repeatedly violated. Some of the fiercest fighting since the Minsk Agreement came this week, with heavy artillery fire reported near Donesk.
In total, more than 6,000 people have died in the fighting in Eastern Ukraine since the conflict began last year.
Despite the continued violence, US officials insist the sanctions were taking a toll on the Russian economy, where the Ruble has plummeted in value. But they admit the sanctions have done little to prevent Russian President Vladimir Putin from continuing the campaign in Ukraine.
Obama said Europe and the US stood ready to impose new sanctions if violence increases.