French Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron met with French businessmen in Moscow on Monday and expressed hope that the implementation of the Minsk agreements would lead to an end to the conflict in Ukraine and the lifting of sanctions on Russia by the summer, the Kommersant newspaper reported.
“Our common goal is to have the sanctions lifted this summer,” Macron was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said at the Davos World Economic Forum that the sanctions might be lifted in the next few months.
“I believe that with effort and with bona fide, legitimate intent to solve the problem [the Ukrainian crisis] on both sides, it is possible in these next months to … get to a place where sanctions can be appropriately … removed,” he said, according to the CNN Money news outlet.
However, a number of the sanctions were imposed on Russia due to the country's annexation of Crimea, Kommersant reported, and they might remain in place even if the sanctions in connection to the crisis in eastern Ukraine are lifted.