As reported by Censor.NET citing Reuters, she said it in an interview with Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland, released on Friday, Aug. 19.
Merkel recalled it was Russia who provoked the crisis, having occupied Crimea in 2014 and supported separatists in eastern Ukraine.
"Europe had to react against this violation of basic principles," Merkel said.
The chancellor underlined her and French President Francois Hollande's efforts to convince the Ukrainian and Russian authorities to fulfill the Minsk agreements despite all the difficulties that arise along the way.
"This is and remains the yardstick for the future of the sanctions," Merkel noted.
As previously reported, July 1, 2016 the EU extended sanctions against Russia until the end of January 2017.
As previously reported, in 2014, the European Union, the United States and several other countries imposed sanctions against Russia in connection with the occupation of Crimea and aggression in eastern Ukraine. These restrictive measures were repeatedly extended and expanded. In particular, the talks on visa waiver and a new basic agreement on cooperation were suspended; several Russia's officials were banned to travel to the EU while their assets were attached. Trade, financial, and military restrictions were introduced. The sanctions list included a total of 151 individuals and 37 entities. The sectoral sanctions were imposed against 20 Russian financial, oil-producing and defense companies.
The Russian Federation introduced a package of retaliation sanctions against the EU, the U.S., Australia, Canada, and Norway in August 2014. The so-called counter-sanctions prohibited imports of fruit, vegetables, as well as dairy and meat products to Russia from these countries for a one-year period.
Related materials: Sanctions against Russia