"We definitely support the removal of sanctions," Manuela Schwesig, the state premier of the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern federal state, said after a meeting with the leaders of east German federal lands on Monday, as quoted by Berliner Morgenpost newspaper.
Schwesig noted that the West's sanctions against Russia have proven to be ineffective and at the same time negatively affected many enterprises of the agricultural and food industry located in the eastern German lands.The premier of the eastern German state of Saxony-Anhalt, Reiner Haseloff, on his part, said that the impact of sanctions on eastern German companies is much more acute than in the case of western German companies, according to the Handelsblatt newspaper. In addition, Haseloff has called on the future government to consider the issue of lifting sanctions against Russia.
In 2014, relations between Russia and the West, including Germany, deteriorated over Moscow's alleged involvement in Ukrainian conflict and Crimea's reunification with Russia.
The European Union imposed several rounds of sanctions on Russia's energy, banking, defense and other sectors, as well as on a number of Russian officials. Last month, the Council of the European Union decided to extend economic restrictions against Russia until July 31, 2018.
Moscow has repeatedly underlined that aligning the issue of sanctions with the implementation of the Minsk agreements on Ukrainian settlement is absurd since Russia is not a party to the intra-Ukrainian conflict in Donbass. Russia has also introduced retaliatory restrictions on food imports from the bloc.