(FILES) This file photo taken on June 01, 2016 shows German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier addressing a press conference on June 1, 2016 in Berlin. / AFP / John MACDOUGALL
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The European Union should gradually phase out sanctions imposed against Russia over the Ukraine crisis if there is substantial progress in the peace process, German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier was quoted on Sunday as saying.In addition, the bloc is expected this week to extend until the end of 2016 its broader economic sanctions on Russia over its role in the crisis in Ukraine.In a separate interview published this weekend Steinmeier criticized NATO's decision to stage military manoeuvres this month in eastern Europe, warning that such moves could worsen tensions with Russia.
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