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No lifting of Russia sanctions without progress on Ukraine: France


French Minister of Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian arrives at the Elysee palace on June 5, 2018, in Paris during the visit of Israeli Prime Minister. / AFP PHOTO / LUDOVIC MARIN

France insisted Wednesday that the lifting of damaging sanctions imposed by the European Union on Russia over its role in the Ukraine crisis be conditioned on advances in the country’s peace process.

The rise of nationalist and populist parties in the EU has bolstered Russia’s campaign to have the measures — which were imposed over its annexation of Crimea and support for rebels in Ukraine’s east — repealed.

On Tuesday, the incoming prime minister of Italy’s populist new government said he wanted to restore traditionally close relations between Rome and Moscow and push for a review of the EU sanctions.

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